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It All Looks More Scary in the Dark

Jul 02, 2017 02:15AM ● By Bonnie Lyn Smith

It was 2 AM. I had to use the bathroom, and we were dry camping—in our own yard. 

Yeah, that’s a long story. It involved many delays in picking up our travel trailer and a Ford F-150 transmission blowing in the middle of trying to back the trailer into our yard—the day before we were to leave. Fun times.

So the younger kids and I camped overnight in the trailer until the watermelon seltzer I chugged before bed hit my bladder. Then into the woodsy yard I went, in the pitch dark, where foxes, deer, and the occasional bear or fisher cat roam. Needless to say, I wasn’t wanting to take my time getting there.

The back door was locked. I knocked, and the dogs started barking. Surely, my husband would hear me then. 


Then I banged on the door. More barking. 

No footsteps.

Realizing the futility of that after about three minutes, I walked around to the garage door, put in the code, and assumed an unlocked inside door. 


More knocking and banging. No response.

Finally, I went around to the front door and rang the doorbell. Over and over again without stop. 

No rescue. 

I knocked and banged and called my husband’s cell phone. 

Still nothing. 

I finally called my son’s cell phone—the same son who inherited my penchant for not answering the phone.

And there it was—my son actually answered!

“Mom, is that you? Hold on. I’m coming.”

In the fifteen minutes outside brainstorming new ways to communicate my need to sleeping family members inside the house, fear had started to trickle in. It was dark, and in my mind, every noise was the local bear deciding that moment was the one to descend upon my lawn. 

My imagination ran wild. 

What if a criminal drives by right now to see me in my nightie? What if the police are on patrol and decide I’m breaking in? What if my neighbor is looking out his window at the scene I am making at 2 AM in my own yard?

Darkness makes everything seem impossible, insurmountable, even dangerous.

But is it? Is it really?

What is the truth about darkness?

1. There is a Light. God the Father provided it through His Son Jesus.

Isaiah 9:2, ESV 

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.

2 Corinthians 4:6, ESV

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2. God has called us out of darkness. We don’t have to live there and be fearful. He is the solution.

1 Peter 2:9, ESV

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

3. We can walk as the Light. We are God’s flashlight in a dark and ominous world.

Ephesians 5:8,11, ESV

…for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light…Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

1 Thessalonians 5:5, ESV

For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.

Matthew 5:16, ESV

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. 

4. Nothing is hidden from God. His vision casts light on the darkest corners. He knows the evil people do even when we seem to see no justice in our circumstances.

Luke 8:17, ESV

For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.

5. God has no darkness. That is a promise. In order to walk with Him, we must choose His Light.

1 John 1:5-7, ESV

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 

6. Coming to the Light signifies walking in a way that pleases God. To walk away from any darkness pulling us in, we must do it in God’s strength. 

John 3:19-21, ESV

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.

7. What we take in affects our light. We must guard our eyes against darkness entering our vision.

Matthew 6:22, ESV

The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.

8. Check your hate gauge. Your light can’t turn on if you drown your batteries in the acid of hate.

1 John 2:8-11, ESV

At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

9. The deepest darkness to ever be feared has already been faced on the cross by the sacrificial Lamb of God, Jesus!

Mark 15:33, ESV

And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 

10. Spoiler Alert: Darkness doesn’t win. Amen, and amen!

John 1:5, ESV 

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Romans 13:12, ESV 

The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.

My husband was still sleeping soundly, by the way, when I made my way up the stairs to let him know the entire house could have been ransacked and several of us taken captive while he enjoyed a deep, restful sleep. To be fair, he didn’t experience the very “real” presence of darkness out in our yard as I did.

It was a darkness to be felt, to be sure.

Exodus 10:21, ESV

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.”

But like my son, who heard my cry for help, God answers us so mercifully, so attentively:

“Bonnie, is that you? Hold on. I’m coming.”

Because of Jesus, it no longer has to be scary in the dark. 

Won’t you join me in grabbing His light?

Author Bonnie Lyn Smith writes about mental health advocacy, special education, faith in the valleys of life, drawing healthy boundaries, relational healing, renewing our minds, walking with a Holy God, and much ado about grace. Join the conversation at Espressos of Faith.

She is the author of Not Just on Sundays: Seeking God’s Purpose in Each New Day and the founder and editor-in-chief of Ground Truth Press, a book publishing company.



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