Back in high school, I watched a scary movie one night while home alone. When I popped the video into the VCR, the only light in the room shown through the television screen. By the end of the movie, I had every light bulb in the entire house lit up — including the lights in the basement, attic, and closets. Sitting in a bright atmosphere made the experience bearable.
Today I’m 40-years-old and, at times, I’m still afraid of the dark. I feel vulnerable in any space void of light.
What terrifies me more than dark places are dark-decisions made by troubled people: The brand of evil that used human-filled airplanes as bombs on this day thirteen years ago; malignant teachings that mold monsters who broadcast the horrific executions of their victims; terrible acts of violence committed against children by various militant groups.
The Lord encourages us to not be afraid.
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
– John 14:27
I remember that truth, yet I confess to moments when I shudder with both sadness and fear when I see evil acts committed. Whether the deeds come from terrorists, pedophiles, or school shooters, grief overwhelms my spirit and I’m afraid of what other atrocities will spring from darkness.
Then I remember that light overcomes the dark because Light overcame the blackest moment that shadowed humanity.
“The angel spoke to the women: “There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed.”
– Matthew 28:6 (MSG)
This message fills my heart even faster when I see light-bearers serving and shining amidst the gloom:
The men and women on Flight 93 who selflessly and courageously gave their lives to save thousands more
Members of an Amish community outpouring grace and love on the family of the gunman who killed five girls
Churches converting their fellowship halls and sanctuaries into shelters for hurricane victims
People opening up their homes to strangers during the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings
Thousands of volunteers collectively building houses each year to commemorate September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance
The light of Christ has the power to push away fear. With acts of love, God’s people can illuminate truth and serve also as a vivid reminder that victory is assured!
“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”
– Matthew 5:14-16 MSG
Have you experienced moments when you felt God’s light chase away the fear? Please feel free to share them in the comment section below.