When days are dark
By Bill Shepard
(“When Days are Dark” is a timely message to my readers. I have sent this message into many homes over a long period of time.
(It recently entered my thinking to share it with readers of my column in this paper. No one would disagree that we are experiencing dark days, and some no doubt more and differently than others.
(We are a people groping in darkness, searching for answers to questions never asked before. Those that should give answers cannot seem to agree on the answers to give. Blame profits little or nothing! There is help and comfort. I pray that you will find it in the following.)
When days are dark and the light has seemingly gone out, the Lord who loves you and me, and all His children, will light a lamp at our feet.
“For thou wilt light my candle; the Lord God will enlighten my darkness.” (KJV Ps. 18:28) What comfort! The next time your day has turned to night, your joy has turned to sorrow, read those words, read them slowly and softly; allow them to permeate your entire being and experience the comfort they bring.
When there is no song to sing, no friends to comfort, remember that He said that He would never leave or forsake thee! Say those words with David and embrace them. He is closer than you may think!
“When thou passeth through the waters, I will be with thee, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee, when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned. I have called thee by thy name, thou are mine.” (Is. 43:1-2)
All of us have those days; they come around as regularly as they are ordained and though we may never understand their appearing, they come anyhow. We may question the why of their being, but that doesn’t help either. Would it help if we knew the answer? Probably not, it might even complicate the problem and bring on other questions.
Life is full of those days, but our own experiences have taught us that folk get through them.
Yes, the One who has ordained the moon and stars to shine and the sun to give warmth and light to every nook and corner of this great universe will also light your path.
Don’t you remember when trouble and sorrow came to your friend, and they were so down, and they felt life wasn’t worth the living and even said they didn’t want to go on? Remember? Yes, we all remember such times, and we sort of patted them on the back and whispered a word of encouragement, and then moved on.
Later we saw our friend and they were smiling, even being happy, as though trouble had never come their way. Their dark day had passed, the sun was shining again, and the birds were singing. What happened? The Lord had lit a lamp in their life.
And He does that for all His children. He only allows the darkness to stay for a little while and then He orders it to move on. Yes, I know that a little while in the dark can seem a lifetime, and it can get awful scary in the dark, but it is good to remember that God is everywhere, even in the dark! That might be the time that we should snuggle up closer to feel his presence, his warmth and his love.
When I was a boy, we had no electricity in our house. My brothers and I slept in a room together; we slept in the same bed together. At night, when the house was dark and I was ready for bed, my big brother would often take the lamp and go into the room before me to calm my fears of the darkness.
Once in bed, he would blow out the lamplight and darkness would fill the room again. It was so good to know my brother was in the dark room with me.
In the comfort of his presence, I would drop off to sleep and awaken the next morning with the bright sunlight beaming through a window. We all have a Big Brother. His name is Jesus!
He has already gone before us to light the way into every dark room we will ever have to enter. He wants us to know that there will never be a darkness so dark that He cannot shine through it.
That is why He came to our world, to lead us through the dark places. Of course, you are afraid and it doesn’t hurt to admit it. The dark can be a scary place, and you do not know what lies inside it.
Like me, you need a big brother to go before you with a lamp in his hand, and Jesus Christ is that Big Brother! When there is darkness all about you, He will light the path for you to take! Trust Him!
The Psalmist David probably knew as much about dark places as any of us and he wrote a lot about them. There were a lot of times when he was afraid and uncertain, but he put his trust in the One that he knew would help him, and he found comfort. You can find it, too!
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Ps. 27:1)
And David spake unto the Lord the words of this song, in the day that the Lord delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies and out of the hand of Saul.
And he said, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; the God of my rock, in Him will I trust; he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.” (2 Sam. 22:1-3)
And then he added verse 29, “For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness.” Read it again: “For thou will light my candle, the Lord God will enlighten my darkness.”