Most of us can relate to being afraid of the dark. When I was young, I remember the comfort I felt when my parents turned on the night light. In fact, for the better part of a year, I also insisted that they put a certain favorite record on their record player; I maintained that I could not go to sleep without that particular music. I also remember labeling the side of my bed nearest the wall as “the devil’s side.” I thought somehow the devil lived under the bed by the wall and would attack me if I got too close to the edge of the bed on that side. Although my childish fears were unreasonable, given the fact that my parents assured me of their love and care for me, I still felt a distinct dread of dark places. Somehow, children instinctively understand that evil lurks in darkness.
The good news is that God is NOT afraid of the dark! He promised to deliver us from darkness — from sin, fear, torment, and blindness. Isaiah explains God’s entrance into our dark world as follows: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.” (Isaiah 9:6) In verse 9 of that same chapter is the famous description of the promised Messiah, our deliverer: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder, and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” John assures us that “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” (I John 1:5b) James also assures us that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17) God Himself IS the light that dispels all darkness. John explains that Jesus is “the light of men.” “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” [overcome it, understand it, or extinguish it]. (John 1:4b-5)
It is truly amazing that God, the Creator of the universe, sent a part of His very own Self to the earth in human form to be light to us and to deliver us forever from our sin and our fears. Jesus said in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” Just THINK about that: Jesus gives us His Presence, which illuminates our hearts and minds and gives us light! Paul reminds us that Jesus “has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.” (Colossians 1:13)
I pray that God will help me understand the power of what He has done for me by sending Jesus to pay for my sin and bring light and life to me. We still live in a world that seems riddled with darkness, and I often feel discouraged and overwhelmed. However, I am trying to remember that the Light of the world literally dwells in me by His Spirit, and that the darkness has no long-term power over me. I am asking God to help me refuse to focus on the apparent power of the dark places and to bask instead in His Presence, His light. He has already delivered me, and He will continue to deliver me from the dark places of my circumstances, and even from the dark places in my own soul. He truly IS light and life, for all eternity. He is teaching me to sing in the darkness and not be afraid. Ask Him this Christmas season to say to your heart once again, “Let there be light.” (Genesis 1:3) He is faithful.