I am a grown woman with a childhood fear that just won’t let go. I am the mom who makes her kids have nightlights in their rooms because I’m scared that they might get scared in the middle of the night.
Am I a fearful person? Not really. I am very into confronting your fears and living on the edge. After all, the Bible even says in 2 Timothy 1:7, (and I quote this verse often to my tribe),
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
But when the room is pitch black, all of the blood rushes to my head and I instantly blurt out whatever expletive or shrieking sound I can muster to get someone, ANYONE, to turn the light back on.
I thought that maybe this was a major problem and I needed some counseling or something. I even considered forcing myself to sleep in my bedroom without the bathroom light shining in from down the hall to somehow face my fear head on.
Then it occurred to me recently as I was struggling with letting my youngest sleep (per her request) without a night light- The physical darkness in front of me doesn’t negate the heavenly Light I carry within me. Aren’t I called to be the Light? To be a flickering flame shining HOPE in the night hours? A glimmering speck of FREEDOM that guides the captives out of their gloomy cells?
My three year old knows this truth better than I do it seems. She sings songs like “This Little Light of Mine” and “Jesus Loves Me” to herself in her bed at night. What a picture of faith. She is worshipping the Light Giver even though her eyes only see darkness. That image preaches itself.
If I force her to have that night light, I would be enabling her to be afraid of the dark just like I have been for too long. I would, in essence, be passing my fear onto her. Notice, I didn’t say that I want her to constantly live in bright, well-lit places and never encounter darkness at all. I think, many times, this is where we miss it. (I know I did!) But the cool thing is, my fear of the dark has actually introduced my heart to the safety of the Light. However, always living comfortably in the warmth of the sun by no means instills a longing for more light. In fact, it leaves you hot and a little presumptuous that life will always be full of sunshine.
No, the nighttime seasons make us long for the morning rays. I want my kids to experience the dark because it is in those moments when they will come to realize that the Light never left them. Isn’t that what hope is, after all? A knowing that the darkness will not fully overtake us because we have a Savior who lives inside of us and to Him, “the night shines as bright as day.” (Psalm 139:12)