Safe in the Dark

Okay, I admit it, I am a very weird person. I do things that sometimes won’t make sense to the average bear, yet somehow I give them a seat in the logic department of my brain. For the longest time, I would fasten my seatbelt by bringing the straps around so that one was behind my shoulder and the other in front. Then I would awkwardly untwist myself from the knot I had made. I honestly didn’t notice until my mom pointed it out and I was like, “What the?” All I needed to do was bring it down with my hand across my body like a normal person and I wouldn’t have to do this little dance to detangle myself. It was almost rhythmic and mindless; I did not even realize I had done that. Another instance just occured to me minutes ago. My lights were off in my bedroom and the door was shut and I was shuffling around looking for a t-shirt, in the dark. The switch was a half-pace away and yet, I didn’t turn it on. Honestly, I like being in the dark, I like how it feels to dim out the harsh lines and figures around me and all that exists are the shadows of the familiar and only the essences of things. Reality is swallowed up in the enveloping black. Sounds creepy? No, not to me. There is a somewhat comforting aspect about the dark in that it can hide, and  it can even out any appearance to seem to be void of any flaw.

Just think about it, what people do in the dark or the shadows. Theres so much, and besides sleeping, the majority of it is not deserving of a shiny halo. For example, people rob houses in the dark. Why? Well, obviously they don’t want to be caught easily. The dark provides them a stealthy prerogative (in their eyes) and they inherit the treaures of their claimed throneroom without the fast conviction that the light would provide. I just thought of those movies where the angsty adolescent would sneak back into their house in the dark of night and when they are about to ascend the staircase to their safe haven, the parent turns on the light and they are sitting in the armchair with a the look of utmost scorn on their face. The kid thought to have nearly escaped that instant conviction was caught in the midst of his act of disobedience and he recieves the talk or even the look of disapointment that he was trying to avoid. If he could just escape down that shadowed hall in the quiet dark who keeps its eyes shut to all vice and whose mouth remains in a neutral state without confrontation on its lips. Thats why so many creep around in the darkness. To avoid the gritty exposure of the light that highlights all inconsistency and flaw. The darkness justifies what the light exposes to be at fault.

What causes us to stumble around in the dark? What causes us to avoid confrontation, conviction and realizing that we do not have it all together? To crawl on the floor with bloody knees and callused hands and eyes down to avoid the light that endlessly burns above? It is such a comfort to sit in dark and see ourselves as right, no wrongs accounted for, and absolved from any guilt for the darkness seems to have saved us this pain. For a time anyways, until that darkness is no longer the neutral bystander but the very reason for our bruised knees, and shamed selves. Guilt has found us, in our workplace, in our school, in our church, in our bedrooms with the doors locked, we are all guilty. We fear exposure, we fear to truly see ourselves for what we are.

The things about the darkness is that in it, nothing thrives. Take a flower, it needs sunlight to grow and blossom, it cannot thrive in the dark. That flower was designed to be in the light and designed for the light. All that was designed to be in the light cannot thrive if kept in the dark. Humans were created to be in the light. Physically, we need the vitamins to be healthy. Name just one human who has lived alone in the dark all their life and isn’t either downright insane, wretched or dead. So why do we continue, as well, to grope in spiritual darkness?

What comes into question is redemption. Is there any escape to this pervading guilt that seems to be avoided only by remaining in darkness? Yet, it still is always there. Like a heavy weight on your back and you stumble along in your suffering. That need to be pardoned is found in every pulse of your heart, yet the only solution lies in exposure, which hurts. Pride keeps us from coming into the light and it keeps us from salvation. There was one who claimed to be these things. It is HE that carried that very same burden on his back except it was not HIS guilt he carried, but YOURS. He stumbled down the way of suffering and was physically and emotionally tormented just like you have been while stumbling in your dark place. He went there. He claimed he was the light:

“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12 (NLT)

The Light stepped down into the darkness in which you stagnate and let it seep into himself as he took on all of the guilt that hung in that dank air.  All of this so your no longer had to be guilty, for he took all of the blame upon himself so you did not need to walk in shame. He calls you to come to Him, that is all he asks. Those who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13). Come with your cut knees, bruised shins and pale skin, and he promises to make you new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Christ did not come down to us to simply tell us that He loves us, but to BE the LIGHT, to SHOW us the TRUTH of His love: That it would go to the extent of corrupting itself with all every lie we told, person we disappointed and every sort of hypocrisy, just so that we could know that we are pardoned. We are saved through Him. He came to expose us so that we might live and thrive in his light again as He created us to do. We were made to thrive in the light.

I heard someone once say that Jesus has come all the way to us but leaves one step left. It is that step that is the hardest. It is that step into the light in which we realize that we have done wrong, that we are not perfect and that we in need of a Savior. What does the Lord give us back for denying Him so many times, he gives us forgiveness. He takes that guilt away and tosses it into the sea of forgetfulness and then He opens up His arms. It is there is his arms that we find home for the first time.

Make that choice and take that step. Stop groping in the dark and trying to ignore that guilt and shame. Step into the light where the Lord stands ready to rid you of it.

Warning, once you truly meet Jesus for the first time. You will want to leave all of your old ways and follow Him everywhere because you find peace in no other occuptation.

Give your guilt to Him and give your life.

 “After he has suffered, he will see the light of lifeand be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.” Isaiah 53:10 (NIV)

Read all of Isaiah 59

-Bethany

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