Monday evening I went outside to look at the stars. I chose the front yard because there are fewer lights there than in the back. Opening the door, I snapped off the porch light and was immediately surrounded by deep darkness. So dark, in fact, that I couldn’t see the sidewalk. I did not let that detour me, as I gingerly stepped onto the porch. Sliding my foot forward toward the edge of the stoep, I carefully stepped to the sidewalk. Using the Lazy Susan’s that fell into the path as a guide, I made my way to the concrete area in front of the garage.
I looked up to see the stars and noticed a few peeking through the opening in the trees. Pulling my bathrobe closely around me and the collar behind my head, I lay down to get a better look. There they were — stars too numerous to count. The longer I lay in the dark, the more accustomed my eyes became, the more stars I could see. The Lord spoke this message to my heart.
“I know you want to see me, but manmade lights hinder you. When you turn off those lights, the darkness is so dark that you immediately reach for the switch to turn them back on. The darkness frightens you. But embracing the darkness allows your eyes to adjust from the manufactured to the supernatural; from manmade to heavenmade. The longer you sit without the artificial light, the more you will see the lights I have made, the more you will experience My presence.”
As I sat in the dark, gazing at the stars, I allowed God’s presence to envelope me. He spoke truth to my heart. He comforted me. He encouraged me.
As Jesus neared the time of his death, he spoke so many comforting words to his disciples. John recorded his final words in chapters 14-17 of his gospel. He begins with these words:
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.”John 14:1
The Greek word translated heart means the inner person. As I meditated on this verse, I read it like this: “Bev, don’t let your inner person be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Jesus.”
Pause for a minute and consider your inner person. Is he/she troubled? Does the darkness seem so deep right now? Are you trying to illuminate the way with the light the world offers? Step away from the chaos of that light. Sit with the darkness and allow your eyes to adjust, to be awakened to the Presence of God. I believe you will see his light all around you. Depending on the world’s light for comfort will disappoint as it conceals and blinds to the true light of the Lord. Pray with the psalmist as he says, “Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths…” (Psalm 119:18)