“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
Have you ever thought about what the dark is like? A few evenings ago I laid in bed thinking about that very thought. My daughter woke me up in the middle of the night with shrills and blood curdling screams. She has night terrors. Not nightmares–horrifying night terrors.
I jumped up and ran to her room with eyes barely opened, dazed in my sleep with complete darkness to contend with. I tripped over a shoe, stubbed my toe and came crashing to the ground. I felt confused, angry and anxious as I made my way through the dark and blindly reached for the door knob. By the time I got to her room I was sweating, and in a frenzy, myself. I found it hard to focus on how to meet her needs in that moment with my heart pounding, toe throbbing, and my own dazed state. Then of course, I felt guilty for not getting to her sooner and attending to her more effectively. The darkness robbed me of that.
After comforting her I grabbed a small flashlight we keep beside her bed to make my way back. While small, it sufficiently lit my way. No confusion, no obstructed path, no anxiety or fear, just a perfectly lit, safe way back to comfort and security. The darkness was all around me but my path was clear. When I lay back down I thought about the significance of the difference between the walk to her room and the walk back to mine. One in darkness and one in light.
“God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all… if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
1 John 1:5,7
Darkness is the absence of light. It is what we experience in this world absent from the Father. It is sin. It is death. It is separation from all that is good. It is horrifying really… to be in darkness, to witness the darkness, to have no light. It is even more horrifying to not know you are in the darkness or to know and pretend you’re not.
I thought about my need for the light to guide my way and how much I really need my Savior. Without Him there is no light, only darkness. With Him there is a path lit with hope, clarity, forgiveness, comfort, goodness and grace.
That night, as I lay in my bed asking God to expose my own darkness, contemplating my sin, and repenting for what I had done, I was refilled by His forgiveness and grace as well as gratitude for what he had done on the cross for ME. Joy and freedom brought me to tears as I began to forgive myself for the guilt and shame I had been carrying. My heart began to soften as I sought him in a deeper way. The light of Christ in that dark room that very moment was filling me with life. I thought about how different the outcome of that night would have been if I would have grabbed my phone and lit my way to my daughter’s room. Thoughts of my sin were rolling through my mind. So I reminded myself that I can’t dwell there, only learn from it.
“In Him (Jesus) was life, and the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4
How different our lives unfold, and how differently we impact others, when we seek Christ, the true light, and let him shine in our darkness. That is where I want to dwell.