No one likes the darkness. No one willingly answers his knock at the door and invites him in. He simply invades our mind, casting shadows of doubt into the corners of our soul. He represents feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and fear. Darkness inhibits mental clarity and produces hopelessness. Many are devastated by its presence.
But what if the darkness is necessary? What if the Lord uses the darkness to draw us into the light, closer to Him? For someone consumed by the suffocating presence of darkness, this may seem impossible. Nothing seems necessary. Nothing seems usable for good. Everything is simply painful. I know; I’ve been there.
After years of cohabitating with darkness, living under the bondage of shame and depression, the Lord mercifully illuminated my desperate, calloused heart. As the darkness dissipated, I experienced unrelenting freedom for the first time in my life.
However, it wasn’t long before the darkness came knocking at my door again. It caught me off guard initially, but my surprise quickly turned into anger. I felt angry he had the audacity to intrude upon my life after all I had been through to squelch feelings of shame, insecurity, and fear. Why was this happening?, I thought.
I knew I couldn’t simply ignore the presence of darkness as I had in the past. I needed to face him head-on, addressing the reason he was there.
Psalm 23:4 is one of my favorite verses:
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for You are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Meditating on the presence of the Lord brought me comfort. I had no reason to fear for Jesus was with me. He gave me the courage to welcome the darkness in.
As the shadow of darkness hovered like a thick cloud of smoke, I remembered how I previously viewed myself – worthless, unlovable, and insignificant. I lived in fear of rejection, looking to others to define my value. My brief encounter with the darkness resonated the miraculous transformation God has performed in my life. I no longer view myself in negative ways; Jesus has shown me who I truly am – a priceless, adored, precious Child of God.
If you have ever interacted with the darkness, you can relate to my hesitancy to converse with him. However, years of ignoring him and pretending he wasn’t there were quite damaging. Confronting my fears has been the crucial first step to experiencing the Lord’s sovereignty.
Jesus can never free us from bondage we don’t acknowledge exists.
The darkness is necessary.
– It reinforces our need for dependency on God.
– It reminds us of His presence in our lives.
– It requires we surrender our fears.
– It redirects our perspective from our struggle to His sovereignty.
Without the darkness, we can’t experience the amazingly powerful transforming light the Lord offers.
Dear friend, if you have been overwhelmed by a journey through the darkest valley, there is hope. You are not alone. Jesus can and will meet you in the pit of despair and guide you into the light of freedom. Just ask.
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your light that casts out darkness. I pray for anyone reading this today who struggles with insecurities and depression. Satan wants nothing more than to enslave them to the darkness. May they experience the freedom that only comes from You.