Darkness

There are times when darkness is disturbing, when time drags along like the silent ticking of a clock. Morning light comes as a welcome relief that cheers the spirit and brightens our prospects for the day ahead.

Have you ever “felt” the darkness? Light so absent as to leave you probing for direction—reaching out to touch something, anything, which might let you know where you are in relation to your surroundings? It is interesting to learn that one of the ten plagues brought against Egypt was the plague of darkness. It was, as the Bible says, “a darkness which may be felt” (Exodus 10:21). For three days, the Egyptians could not see one another—for three days the “thick darkness” kept them from rising out of their places. Imagine how that must have felt. “But all the sons of Israel had light in their dwellings” (v. 23).

Awareness of our society’s growing moral and spiritual darkness is troubling. The darkness of the world around us can, at times, seem overwhelming. Ignorance is darkness, even when it is intentional. Many have chosen darkness rather than light (John 3:19). Preferring darkness to light, they reject the knowledge of God. Like Pharaoh, they ask, “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?” (Exodus 5:2).

Navigating the course of life through a sin-darkened world can be a tough path. Were it not for the fact that “God is light, and in Him there is not darkness at all”, we might be shaken and live in fear. We might be tempted to say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night” (Psalm 139:11). Yet, even in those moments when darkness may be felt—even then, we can be like David and pray, “the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day” (v. 12).

Think not of darkness as a force from which you must hide. Think instead of darkness as an opportunity for the light. For it is in the darkest hour that light has its most profound influence. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).