One of my least favorite memories is of the very first night I was left alone at home to babysit my little brother. I was petrified. I’m not even sure how old I was. All I knew was that it was getting dark outside and mom and dad were leaving… and every young child knows that the monsters come out when mom and dad aren’t around. It wasn’t until that lonely night that I realized the element of safety that my parents’ very presence could establish.
We lived in a 1900s remodeled Victorian style home, complete with its creaks and squeaks. The doorways were large, the ceilings were tall, and the stairway was endless. Oh yes, all the more room for the shadows of the night to haunt and the creaks to echo through my desperately ringing ears. Suddenly my home became my worst enemy—the source of my mental tantalization with its creaking and settling in the gusting night’s wind. It was me against my very own fear of the lonely night. In short, I was afraid of the dark.
I chuckle to myself now when I think about that night and all of the silly things I did in distressed attempts to overcome my fear. I laugh as I think about trying to comfort my little brother while I was shaking in my own boots. But as I reflected this morning on that fearful night so many years ago, something stopped me dead in my tracks. I am still afraid of the dark.
Yes. It is true. I still exhibit a panicked display of thoughts and behaviors when I come to a situation in which the light is dim. Although I say that I “rest in the shadow of the Almighty,” the creaks of the howling world seem to become louder and louder in their distraction, and my blood pressure rises when the fierce winds of uncertainty rattle the windows of my life.
There are a few things going on in my life right now in which I am distinctly seeking God’s direction. And yet, this seems to be one of those times where I am timidly walking the halls of my own faith… in the dark. There doesn’t seem to be any well-defined direction as to what to do or where to go next, and so I just keep walking. I could lie to you, but I won’t: I don’t like the dark. Darkness requires slow, careful movement. It demands patience. I’m not very good at any of those things!
As much as I don’t like the darkness, what I do love is the peace that comes with trusting God fully. When you’re in the dark, there’s not much else you can do. I suppose I could drive myself nuts with the endless questions of “How?” “Why?” and “What if?” But I’ve been down that road before… and I got so busy rattling off questions that God couldn’t get a word in edgewise! It’s amazing the peace that comes with learning to shut your mouth. Even in the dark.