When Darkness Surrounds You

When I was a little girl, we did most of our traveling at night when it was cooler. Cars weren’t air-conditioned back then. There weren’t as many arguments in the back seat at night as there were in the heat of the day. My parents shared the front seat with my little brother and sister, and I was crammed in the back seat with two brothers and my older sister. We would lie all over each other with our enormous German shepherd, Rowdy, hanging his dripping tongue over the seat in the back of the station wagon.

I was usually the last one to drift off. I would wait until the others were asleep and ask my dad questions until I fell asleep. Eventually, I learned the difference between truck lights and car lights. At one point, I knew the brand of cars coming toward us by its headlights and when a train was coming.

I could see the trains far away, and it thrilled me to tell Daddy about them. I asked him why their lights were so much brighter than the car and truck lights around us. He said that trains were so much more powerful than the smaller vehicles that they needed more light to travel safely.

One day, while traveling with my dad, I noticed that I couldn’t see the trains as far off during the day as I could at night. Their lights weren’t as bright. In fact, I could barely tell the train had lights on at all. I saw the train before the light. Daddy explained why the light wasn’t bright in the daytime. He told me that there was no darkness to make it shine.

As Christians, we can be doing well with blessings flowing into our lives from everywhere. Then the bottom falls out, and nothing seems to go right. The difference is like day and night. The Lord said it rains on the just and the unjust. He asked, if the world came against him why would we expect it to be different for those who loved Him? He gave us his Word as a light to shine in front of us in this dark world. He said his Word was “a lamp to my [our] feet and a light to my [our] path” (Psalms 119-105).

Today’s Christian is like that train. We still have our light during the day; however, we should be the brightest in the dark. When we hide God’s word in our hearts, His light shines through us. It goes before us, revealing the tracks God has laid out for our lives, and shines brightly for others who need it. Though it may not appear as strong as it does when darkness surrounds us.

When darkness presses in on us, it makes us feel like we may stumble and fall. We have His Word to point out the road ahead and steer us where we should go. Unlike the world, when we know God is with us and have his Word buried in our hearts, we can keep our eyes on our journey.

Lost people everywhere search for something that shines brightly and stands out in the darkness. When we’re moving on with the love, joy, and peace of God shining brightly through us, we can be a beacon of hope. Like the train, our light shines great distances. The darker our world, the brighter our light.

My late husband compared God’s Word to the stripes in the highway’s center on one of our dark, soupy, foggy Houston mornings. Sometimes the fog is so thick we can’t see the taillights on the car before us until we’re right up on it. It’s hard to be sure that we’re in our lane. By keeping our eyes on the white stripe, we can arrive safely at our destination. We have the same assurance when we rely on God’s Word in our dark, soupy, foggy world.