Afraid of the Dark

As a child I was afraid of the dark. I grew up in a very old house. My bedroom was upstairs and, if I had forgotten to leave a light on, it was pretty scary going up there at night. In addition, our house was rumored to be haunted. There was a creepy antique wardrobe right across from my bed, and I had nightmares of ghosts slowly pushing open the doors in the middle of the night.

Even as an adult, when I had long since outgrown my belief in ghosts, I was occasionally frightened of the dark. Driving at night on an unfamiliar backroad prior to cellphones and GPS could be pretty unnerving. Most of my first few cars were old and prone to mechanical problems. The possibility of breaking down on a dark road and having to ask a stranger for help was scary.

It’s rare now that I am afraid of the dark. I love the night sky. In our rural area there’s very little light pollution and on unclouded nights I can walk out onto the road or the dock, away from trees, and clearly see the moon, planets, and multitude of stars.

I love to sit on the porch late at night or very early in the morning and soak up the peacefulness. I love looking into our cozy living room when it’s decorated for Christmas.

It’s never entirely quiet – there are always birds, cicadas, frogs, small animals skittering in the leaves – but that’s background noise to my reading, thinking, praying, or dozing.

So, when I read in Revelation that in the New Jerusalem there would be no darkness, no need for the sun or moon1, I honestly wasn’t sure I would like that. The night can be lovely, peaceful, inspiring, comforting. But, of course, what the Bible means by darkness is all the evils and ills of the world. And death, especially unrepentant death2. At the very beginning of the Bible we are told that God is there in the darkness3. The psalmists frequently refer to God shining light on us, that there is no darkness to Him and that His word is a lamp to guide us4. And best of all, Jesus Himself tells us that He is the “light of the world.”5 He is the only thing and everything we need to see our way to Heaven.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Psalm 119:105

My sweet Rachel believed that. Her life verse was Psalm 119:105. She is now basking in that light for eternity. One sweet day I will join her. I hope there are stars and cicadas and docks and porches to sit on. But, I know without a doubt that the Lord’s light will fill my heart forever, and I’ll never be afraid again.

Bible verse references:

  1. Revelation 21:23
  2. Matthew 25:30
  3. Genesis 1:2
  4. Psalms 139:12 and 119:105
  5. John 8:12


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