Were you scared of the dark as a child? Are you still?
Darkness is so terrifying because of the unknown. What’s more unsettling than the concealed? Inside the theater of the mind you may picture yourself in your own personal film noir when you are alone in an inky house or out late on a moonless night.
Achluophobia, fear of the dark, is generally outgrown as adults and we face dark places without anxiety. We know there aren’t monsters hiding in the closet or ghosts walking the halls.
We may get over our fear of dark rooms, but what about our fear of dark times? Our darkest times are not illuminated with understanding, but filled with doubt and despair.
Like a child when afraid, in eras of uncertainty, we want to curl up in a ball and pray for the light, for revelation. Dark times, however, do not run in 24 hour cycles. The sun doesn’t always rise in the morning. Life is like December in Northern Alaska where there is no sunlight. We are blinded and can’t see any hope for the future.
There are many burdens that keep us in darkness… barely alive, just existing. Sickness, finances, and rocky relationships can extinguish the light of living. We can lose sight of hopes and dreams and dive into depression. In darkness we may no longer see the reasons we live, what our heart longs for the most, even beyond this life.
We can learn to Face Dark Times With Hope by turning our eyes in the right direction.
1. Look to the Creator of light. Sadness, isolation, and fear will always be apart of life. We as humans desire to understand our existence, especially when we are struggling. When you are grasping for discernment and direction who better to consult than our great God who wondrously spoke light into being. As Paul wrote, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” The next time you feel you have to see clearly to understand the direction of life and do great things, remember, all that exists was created of things which aren’t seen. You may not see hope in your future, but it is there. Wait on God to reveal it.
2. Stay focused on what is most important. Even when we think we are in complete darkness there is usually some form of light. Once our eyes adjust we begin to see our glowing watch dial or moonlight streaming through the windows. That small amount of light allows us to focus on our destination. We may stub our toes along the way, but that pinhole of light allows us to navigate to our destination. If we shut our eyes tight out of fear, hide in a corner, and give up, we will never see the illumination of opportunity. Fix your eyes on the finish line, not the hurdles along the way. Keep searching for the light at the end of the tunnel. You will emerge a stronger spiritual being.
3. Keep your light burning. Times may seem to be at their worst with no sunrise on the horizon, but we can still touch the lives of those around us by how we react to our gloom. Isn’t it encouraging to see someone who is suffering immeasurably and still maintaining a positive outlook on life? Think about how your trials may help someone else through a storm. Even when the outlook is bleak, set your light on a hill for all to see.
Don’t be afraid of the dark. Summon your courage and face the unknown with the confidence that you have the Light on your side.
How do you face dark times?