I was afraid of the dark until I was almost forty years old.
My fear was rooted in scary childhood moments and even years of adult experience could not rip it from the soil of my psyche. I never could convince my heart what my head knew to be true: there was nothing in the dark that wasn’t also there in the light.
It was fear, not darkness, that controlled me.
There is great darkness in grief. So many unanswerable questions, so much anquish, so much pain.
And there is darkness in many other painful, unchangeable circumstances.
The darkness can hide things that I see clearly in the light. And if I’m not careful, I can allow the darkness to foster fear and keep me from venturing futher.
In my own strength, depending on my own resources, I am afraid.
But when I call out from my scary place to the God Who made me, I can face the fear in confidence He hears and cares.
When I am afraid, O Lord Almighty, I put my trust in you.
Psalm 56:3 GNT
Sometimes believers in Christ can convince themselves that admitting their world is dark with pain or suffering or questions diminishes the power of God–that it speaks ill of God or that it means God is insufficient to uphold us in our weakness.
If I pretend that I’m never afraid, or that I never experience darkness, I am denying others my aid.
Even worse, I may be shaming them to silence, sending the message that if they are experiencing pain, something is wrong with THEM.
How many people are sitting in our pews with broken hearts and broken lives, afraid to reach out for help because–in addition to the pain of their broken life–they live under condemnation?
Life is full of pain and darkness. Even for those who follow Jesus.
When I deny that truth, I also refuse to testify to God’s power to help me carry on and give me the courage to face my fear.
God is the God of the day AND the God of the night.
I do not diminish Him by admitting that I experience both.
He invites me to lean into Him and to hold hands with His children as I journey on, even when it’s dark.
“Christians with this unflinching faith in the sovereign God do not deny grief. But even in their darkest hours, they borrow God’s strength. In their tears and pain they cling to God who will never let them go. What the Savior has done for others He will do for you. When you are shaken, and you know that life will never be the same again, you can trust and not be afraid. You can live in HOPE with the sturdy confidence that God will dry your tears and put you on your feet again.”
“Grief, Comfort for Those Who Grieve and Those Who Want to Help” by Haddon W. Robinson