Have you ever had a time in your life where darkness just seemed to be closing in? Like no matter how hard you fought you couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel? Like you were just falling deeper into a place that you didn’t even want to be in in the first place?
Maybe you’re there now, or maybe you’re like me: finally out of the tunnel but still dealing with the memories and the fear of being back in that place again. The past few weeks have found me gripped with this fear, so much so that I have avoided being alone with my thoughts except during the 1am-5am hours when everyone was sleeping peacefully except for me and my thoughts.
I’m not yet ready to dive into the details of my fear, but if you have ever struggled with being afraid of the dark or if you are currently reading this and searching desperately for even a glimpse of light, I want you to read these words right out of the gate:
Even in the dark we are guided by Light, we are provided light, and we are still capable of moving forward to the Light.
Here’s the thing, y’all: sometimes I forget the Lord’s faithfulness. Sometimes I let things cloud my mind until all that is left is a mix of fear and confusion and my mind becomes very comparable to that scene in scary movies where the moon is hiding behind clouds and the soon-to-be victim is looking around and wondering where they are or where everyone else went (I don’t actually watch scary movies but it seems like this would happen). When I enter this mindset, I get stuck. I lose sight of my next step and I just stop. In an effort to stop avoiding the problem, I decided to look up verses that related to the one thing I needed to be reminded of most: Light.
As you can probably guess, there are a lot of verses that come up when you search through the Bible for the word “light,” but there was one verse that seemed to stick out. In that one verse, I found three things I needed to be reminded of. If you need to be reminded of light tonight, keep on reading:
“The Lord went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided a light at night with a pillar of fire. This allowed them to travel by day or by night.” - Exodus 13:21
1. “The Lord went ahead of them.” Even when nightmares close in, the One who spoke light into existence (Genesis 1:3) is walking before us . He sees what we haven’t yet seen, He’s been where we haven’t yet been, and He knows what we don’t yet know. The Lord is going ahead of us.
2. “He provided a light at night with a pillar of fire.” The Israelite's were given a pillar of fire so they could see in the night, but y’all it was still night. That pillar of fire didn’t signify an end to the night. It signified the provision of the Lord the midst of the night. The Lord met them in the dark and rather than speeding up time to bring a new morning He brought light into their darkness. We may want the new morning to hurry up and break into view, but the Lord doesn’t need the morning to come before He can provide for us. He can meet us in the midst of our dark night and provide our own pillar of fire to last through the night.
3. “This allowed them to travel by day or by night.” The sun going down didn’t mean the Israelite's had to stop moving and wait until it came back up, even though they had no street lights or flash lights or any other form of modern day luxuries. It was the Lord’s provision that allowed them to keep moving forward. The night didn’t make them stuck, it made them move in complete dependence upon the Sovereign Lord who can use a pillar of fire or the Word (Psalm 119:105) or the light of the world Himself (John 8:12) to keep us from standing stagnant in the dark.
When we can’t see the place beyond where our feet are firmly rooted in the ground or when the night is so dark we can’t even see our feet at all, by the unfailing Word of God we can trust that He is standing before us and providing a way for us to keep moving in the night. Pick up one foot and take a step forward. God has already been where your foot will fall. The night may still be night, but we have been provided a pillar of fire that will last until the sun rises again.
If you are in need of a reminder of light, remember with me.
Remember that we are children of the light and the day; we do not belong to darkness and night (1 Thessalonians 5:5). Remember that the Light shines in the darkness, and darkness can never extinguish it (John 1:5). Remember that if we put our trust in Jesus we will no longer remain the dark (John 12:46).
When our fears and forgetfulness take center stage, let us remember the Light. The light that goes ahead of us, that provides for us, and that keeps us moving forward even in the night.
I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. - Ephesians 1:18