I can remember as a young boy being afraid of the dark.  Afraid of what – I don’t specifically remember, but there was just something about the ‘dark’ I didn’t like. It wasn’t necessarily a known, imminent danger that I could see or feel.  But rather, I was afraid of what I could not see… those things that my young mind would conjure up, appearing to be real or at least having the potential to cause me harm if ‘it’ appeared.  Darkness became something I feared, even when in reality, there was no ‘real’ danger at all.  I remember, almost instinctively doing things like hiding my head under the blankets and jumping in bed as to not expose my feet to whatever could be under my bed.  Crazy I know…

Now, as an adult, I don’t think I am so afraid of the dark anymore – at least not in the same way as when I was five.  However, I also think that my definition of ‘darkness’ has changed as well as I’ve gotten older and more ‘mature’.

In A.W. Tozer’s ‘The Knowledge of the Holy’, he describes what I believe to be one of the significant adult definitions of ‘darkness’ that many of us become afraid of – even into the ‘later’ years of our lives.

Most of us go through life praying a little, planning a little, jockeying for position, hoping but never being quite certain of anything, and always secretly afraid that we will miss the way.”

Quite profound I thought! He describes the underlying current in many of our lives; that unless we know what the future holds for us, we seem lost and alone – like stepping out into the unknown ‘darkness’.  Yet, God constantly seems to encourage us to trust Him in the dark. In fact, it’s quite eye-opening to realize that much of God’s working was/is done in the ‘dark’.

When God created the heavens and the earth, darkness was upon the face of the deep. When the Eternal Son became flesh, He was carried for a time in the darkness of the sweet virgin’s womb.  When He died for the life of the world, it was in the darkness.  It was ‘very early in the morning’ and no one saw Him rise on the third day. It is as if God were saying, what I am is all that need matter to you, for there lie your hope and your peace. I will do what I will do, and it will all come to light at last, but how I do it is My secret.  Trust Me, and be not afraid.”

Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. Micah 7:8

Tozer goes on to say, “Our insistence upon seeing ahead is natural enough, but it is a real hindrance to our spiritual progress. On the contrary, God has charged Himself with full responsibility of our eternal happiness and stands ready to take over the management of our lives the moment we turn in faith to Him.”

And so, the testimony of our own faith is that, no matter how things look in this fallen world – no matter how things look in our own personal lives… behind closed doors where no one else sees the hurt and pain, do we have the knowing deep within our hearts that nothing escapes God’s sight and that all of His acts are birthed from His perfect wisdom?  We can hold our head high (and not bury it under the covers).  We can walk with Him through the ‘darkness’. We can trust Him to guide us for He already knows what lies ahead.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “Plans not to harm you, but plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

“See, I am sending an angel before you to protect you on your journey and lead you safely to the place I have prepared for you.” Exodus 23:20

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