Have you ever wondered what to do when the light goes out? I don’t know about you, but this world can feel pretty dark sometimes. Like the evil and terror and illness and sin and destruction are taking over. Like the walls are closing in around me. But there is hope…
I recently had an experience that was incredibly encouraging.
Our garage door’s motor has been broken for a while, so we detached it and have been manually raising and lowering it. It is a minor annoyance and a complete first world problem, but this small thing presented me with a big lesson the other day. I stood down by the door, just inside the threshold and lowered it gently. But when I stood up and turned around to walk into the house, I realized I had forgotten to leave a light on for myself. Though not far, the path from the garage door to the entrance of our house involves a few stairs and some significant obstacles—bikes, ladders, skateboards, a small wagon. You get the idea. Only with the garage door shut, I couldn’t see any of those things. For a moment, I couldn’t even see my own hand in front of my face.
The Darkness is Disorienting
It was disorienting and a little frightening.
I closed my eyes for a few seconds, hoping they would adjust to the lack of light and I’d be able to see better. I may have whispered a quick, “Oh, Lord, don’t let me trip and fall.” But I quickly dismissed the idea of re-opening the garage door so I could see to walk up the stairs and turn on the overhead light. I knew I had to be brave and move forward. So, I reached into my memory bank and flipped through the images of where things were so I could navigate the path, even in the dark. When I opened my eyes again, I could see faint outlines and a barely discernible crack of light coming from under the door to the kitchen. As I moved toward that sliver of light, it became just enough for me follow.
The thing is, more than a time or two life has felt like that. Like I’ve been trapped in a dangerous place filled with gnarly obstacles difficult to navigate in the light and BOOM the lights go out. Another tragedy strikes. Hatred fills my feed. Failures mount around me. Devastation demands my attention. Death invades uninvited. People reject Truth. Things contrary to God’s perfect plan can feel as though they cloud the light and leave me wondering how to make it safely to the other side.
Have you wondered what to do when the light goes out?
My experience in a dark garage taught me a few key things about getting through dark days.
When the light goes out, the first thing you should do is pause and pray.
You see, when the light goes out, our natural inclination is to react wildly out of fear or to freeze. Maybe to doubt or question. But what if every time we were faced with blatant darkness, we paused to pray before we reacted or spoke? Or we faced the darkness with faith? If we could remember to pause and pray about our problems and ask God to make His presence mightily known to us as we pass through them, we’d all do a lot less tripping over ourselves and a lot more loving and forgiving one another and moving forward in faith. And that would bring a whole lot more light into this dark world.
The darker it gets, the more noticeable even faint lights become.
When darkness becomes the normal for this world, it doesn’t take a whole lot of light to grab someone’s attention. Even the smallest or simplest acts of kindness can draw attention and provide us with opportunities to shine a light on the Light of the World.
What was true in the light is still true when the light goes out.
Even though darkness appears to abound in this day in age, the truths we have come to trust haven’t changed. God is still good. Jesus still died for the forgiveness of our sins. His resurrection still guarantees our own eternal life with Him in heaven. Nothing has changed. God is not surprised by any of it and He is still in control of all of it. He has already been here and still knows our forever.
Following the light is the only way to reach my destination.
When you want to be in the light, you have to follow it. When we see others shining for God’s glory, we ought to be inspired to join them, to multiply the power of our Christian witness. Much like Mr. Rogers said, “Look for the helpers,” or I discussed about looking for those who move toward the mess with grace and mercy, we look for the other lights shining in this dark world and find comfort, unity, hope, and mutual consolation when we band together with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
I cannot lose the light because He lives within me.
All of us who have received God’s gift of faith by grace and believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, have received His light. We have become the light. So no matter what darkness threatens us here on earth, we have the promise of eternity in heaven where God is the only light we’ll need. We cannot lose the light no matter how dark this world seems.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never overcome it.”John 1:5
Even on the darkest day in history, God was still working out our victory.
As Jesus hung on the cross and died for us, He was also being fully glorified. His love and obedience light the way for us to bring the light of His glory into this dark world. God’s plans for us are good and full of eternal light, no matter how dark this earth appears.Even on the darkest day in history, God was still working out our victory. #darkness #livinginthelight Click To Tweet