Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Sometimes the Darkness is Easier

Imagine you’ve been living in a completely dark room. Your eyesight has already gotten used to your surroundings. You’re able to see the walls and shapes and know your way around. You can see any furniture or other fixtures.

Suddenly, a light is turned on. You’re temporarily blinded. You can’t see anything through the brightness. You’re scared and uncertain, but eventually adjust. You eventually learn to appreciate the new colors and vividness of which you’ve been exposed.

And then the light goes out again, leaving you once again in utter darkness. The ability you once had to make out everything in the darkness is gone. Again, fear sets in.

If this only happens once or twice, the fear is probably short-lived, and you realize that you will once again be able to see. However, when it happens repeatedly, you begin to desire to stay in the darkness. You prefer the shady but still-there sight over the continued blindness and fear.

For me, this is a good analogy for those who’ve suffered abuse. This would be especially true for children who are abused continuously, and by multiple people. You let one person be your light, and they abuse you, bringing you back to the darkness. You let another in, and again, abuse. Then another… and another…

Soon, you stop letting in the light. You prefer the darkness. It’s safer there. You’ve grown so adjusted to the darkness, you find it safer and more comfortable there than the continued blind fear. You’ve grown so adjusted to the continuous light then dark then light then dark that the fear of having to go through that again is stronger than the fear of the dark.

This doesn’t just apply to abused children, however. Those who end up in a few bad relationships, or are betrayed by friends over and over again, or any other form of abuse or betrayal, can end up the same way. You find yourself pushing away or avoiding anyone who may possibly bring light into your life because you fear you’ll be abused or betrayed by that person as well and tossed right back into the pitch black darkness.

Faith can be the same way – whether this is caused by church members, pastors, or simply getting kicked down by life every time you start to believe God is there with you. Eventually, you would prefer to remain in the darkness than believe that the church is a godly place; or that God even exists.

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5 NIV)

This is a very difficult thing to remember – and more difficult at times to see. My prayer for all tonight is that no matter what you’ve been through – no matter what abuse or betrayal or pain you’ve had to suffer – God helps you to see him as the light he is. And that God helps you to see the light he brings into your life through the hearts of others. And that God helps you to accept that light into your life and to hold onto it, even when it seems to dim.

May the light of Christ shine on all of you tonight and always.

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