We live in a difficult world. There is darkness all around.
Once years ago, my parents treated my husband and I to an all expenses paid New England bus tour trip with them. It was a blessing beyond belief. We saw sites in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont. I remember all of it and developed over a hundred photos. While in New Hampshire, we were in a place peppered with trees. Every turn in the road revealed something breathtaking.
I asked Mom, “Wouldn’t you like to live here, Mom?”
“No way!” she said without hesitating.
“What? Why not?”
“Because the trees block out the sun. It would be dark all the time.”
There is so much to be said about that.
We moved to Tucson from Michigan when I was twelve. The doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester said I needed a warm, dry climate to be healed of severe skin eczema. It was a tremendous sacrifice to do this. But the frequency of the bright and sunny days were of such benefit. And in time, we came to love the area. It is rarely dark in Tucson, rarely gloomy. Even on our rainiest days, usually the sun peeks. I completely recovered from eczema, it is gone, it left in less than two years.
There has to be light in life or darkness takes over.
Following the unforeseen death of my mother this past summer, the absence of her beauty felt like darkness. Varying degrees of depression took me over for months. But also without warning, on a day in October, I was surprised to find that I could feel the sun again. Surely it had been there all the time, but just not for me. Dark Days had come for a spell, and I could not find a way out of them.
“The Lord is my light, and my salvation,” says a Psalm. The Lord is our sun, our rescue. Another psalm says, “In Him is no darkness at all.”
Could it be that darkness serves a purpose?
The evil think so. They love it. They dwell in darkness and perform their dirty deeds there, thinking they are hidden. They have abused the darkness, using it to perpetuate and manufacture more sin. They think they are safe there, unseen. Are they? With the Lord God, His vision is unlimited. He sees without physical light being present. He sees right into all darkness. He waits. He will requite all evil. God’s design for darkness is not to provide sanctuary to the evil.
But He did create it. There must be a divine purpose for it. Maybe multiple ones. I see two.
Darkness provides a resting place for humans. In darkness, we are excused from the brightness of the day. We can sleep, and our eyes and body organs recover their strength, heal. Darkness is a blessed reprieve, a covering, a nest. Where grief is present, darkness’s gift of sleep nourishes the heart, nerves and emotions. It’s no wonder those in grief sleep more than usual.
Also, darkness provides a contrast for us, that we might see our need of light. How would we notice our need of a savior if we did not recognize Him against a backdrop of depravity? He wants to be noticed. He wants to “pop” out. He wants to be distinguished. He deserves to be distinguished.
Dark Days may occasionally come. But God has not banished us to them. They are for a season to rest us, give us a reprieve.
Bright Days will return. Happily, the Lord is present in both darkness and light, and He is with us.
Do you see another purpose for darkness? Please comment.