Even In The Dark
If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me, And the night will be the only light around me,” Even the darkness is not dark to You and conceals nothing from You, But the night shines as bright as the day; Darkness and light are alike to You.
David experienced times of darkness when it seemed the light of hope would never shine again. He was attacked by enemies and betrayed by friends. He hid in the wilderness for years in fear for his life. But perhaps the darkness was worst in the hours of the night after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba and covered it up by having her husband, Uriah, killed. (2 Samuel 11:1-17)
At some time in our lives, virtually all of us suffer periods of pitch-black spiritual darkness. We can’t see, and we’re sure nobody else can see either! We feel hopeless, and worse, we’re afraid we’ll always feel this way. In the depth of David’s predicament, God gave him fresh insight. David may not see any light, but God sees just as clearly in our darkness as He sees in the light. This realization gave David new hope. He didn’t have to see the light as long as he was convinced that the God of love and strength could see clearly.
When we are in the pit of darkness, without sight and without hope, we can be sure God is never sightless. He’s sees us in the dark, and He sees a solution to our problem even when we can’t see it. In that, we can be confident.
There are seldom, if ever, any hopeless situations, but there are many people who lose hope in the face of some situations.
If you’ve ever traveled much you know that the landscape appears different in the dark than it does in the light. It’s the exact same scenery but it sure looks different. What can be easily negotiated in the light can often be difficult to negotiate in the dark. I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of trying to maneuver around our house in the dark and find ourselves stumbling over familiar objects. Darkness can be scary especially when we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory.
Some of the greatest challenges in life are the things which are uncertain or unknown. When we feel we are kept in the dark about things in life, that can lead to making us feel helpless and hopeless. I’ve read that one of the procedures used in interrogation is to isolate the subject in a place of darkness until they have lost all points of reference. Interrogators know that darkness and isolation breaks a person down mentally and emotionally until their resistance is gone. That’s the very self-same strategy of the devil. If he can somehow trap us in the darkness of uncertainties or unknowns and escalate our fear, he can bring us to a place of feeling hopeless.
But nothing is hid from God and neither is there any uncertainties or unknowns to Him. The Bible says that God sees the end from the beginning. Jesus told us that He is the Light of the world and in Him there is no darkness. He never gets confused or lost in the darkness for wherever He goes, He lights the way. Ziglar reminds us of the lesson David learned: we don’t have to see our way clear, we don’t have to be certain about everything, we don’t have to have knowledge about everything. All we need to find in the darkness is the hand of God and He makes Himself easy to find. As a matter of fact, He is so big that you can’t miss bumping into Him in the dark. And in the darkness, we feel His big old hand reaching out and taking hold of us, leading us and moving us toward our certain destiny that He has for us.
This lesson certainly is appropriate for us as we try to negotiate our way through the uncertainties and unknowns created the pandemic. It’s easy to lose hope when we don’t seem to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve read that there is a sharp rise in mental health issues and substance abuse as people struggle to find their way through the maze. It seems that every piece of good news is followed by another round of challenges. It has felt like a roller coaster and that uncertainty an take a toll on us mentally, physically, and spiritually. In an environment of encroaching darkness and hopeless helplessness where can we find assurance that we will make it through?
That’s the lesson David learned and Psalm 139 teaches us. We don’t have to know how it will turn out or what the new environment will be; we don’t have to sit in fear or live with anxiety. We just need to reach out in the darkness and find assurance that God is with us, that He sees the way through and that He is leading and guiding us in this path of life. In the midst of our uncertainties we have a certainty, the ever-present, unchanging presence and love of God. In the unknowns of life we have a known, that God is for us and with us and will never forsake us. We can face the darkness because the light of God shines in us and around us and through us. Psalm 119 says this:
“Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”
There we have it. Never will we be abandoned in the dark for God will light the way! So trust Him with what you don’t know. Trust Him what you can’t see. Put your hand in His and let Him guide you in the path He has set before you.
Dr. John Thompson