There is something about the dark that frightens some people. As J.R.Tolkien in his classic The Hobbit observes, “It cannot be seen, cannot be felt / Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt / It lies behind stars and under hills / And empty holes it fills / It comes first and follows after / Ends life, kills laughter.” It is no wonder some of us do not like being in the dark. It is the place of the great unknown where every sound is amplified and where it feels like someone or something is watching and waiting to get us.
There are times in our Christian walk when it seems we are walking in and through the dark. Those difficult periods in our lives when the silence is loud and answers are elusive. We can relate to Job who lamented, “He hath fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and He hath set darkness in my paths. … When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness” (Job 19:8; 30:26, KJV). Even as we cry out to God, we echo the words of the Psalmist, “Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps” (Psalm 88:6). The longer we are in the dark, the greater our discomfort. Times when it seems the LORD dwells in thick darkness (1 Kings 8:12), the more we question God. After extended periods in the dark, some stop trusting Him.
Corrie Ten Boom reportedly once said, “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” That is so because though inside the tunnel is shrouded in darkness, the engineer can see ahead because of the light at the front of the train, unseen by the passengers, that pierces through said darkness. The Christian walking timidly and fearful in the dark can take the same comfort. David said of our Engineer, the One we serve, “…the darkness and the light are both alike to thee” (Psalm 139:12). In other words, He sees in and through the dark. When we cannot see anything, He can. When we don’t know where to go, He does. Because of that, we do not have to be afraid. We simply need to trust Him.
That is the good news. He (the Lord) constantly watches over us, lovingly and protectively, working out His purpose in our lives (Romans 8:28-29). For He who orders your every step knows exactly where you are. Even in the dark.