Fear of Darkness

The fear of darkness is easily one of the greatest horrors for young children. The darkness of their own rooms at night offers an unknown element to their eyesight, and in their insecurity, they may at times become paralyzed by fear and will scream for mom and dad! While this fear may abate the older we become, the fear of darkness still remains tangible in the years of adulthood, especially for those who are parents. The reason we fear the darkness is no longer because of the “boogeyman,” but rather the extremely sharp and painful Legos that lie scattered on the floor ready to ravage the bottoms of our feet. There is no greater pain than unexpectedly stepping on Darth Vader’s laser gun and screaming out, “Long live the rebellion!” While this was written in jest, the truth is that fearing the dark remains throughout our lives.

The most harmful effect of darkness is when its reality is brought to light. We live in a darkening landscape both physically and spiritually, and its power and influence is not fading, but rather is growing day-by-day. The once hidden consequences of darkness has now been made evident through a variety of ways. The influence of evil is no longer the source of our greatest fear, but rather it is the depth of its depravity. Our society was awakened to this evil on September 11, 2001. It was on that day our eyes witnessed a depth of darkness never witnessed before on live television. What was once “unknown” was brazenly brought to light through the actions of those Islamic extremists. The innocence of this world was dramatically changed for many of my generation on that day. The reality of this evil made the fear of darkness even more imperative in the life of every Christian.   

The diligence of Christians to maintain their faithfulness in this darkening world has become a tremendous task. The warning of Peter shouts from the mountain tops – “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). We can no longer allow our guards to drop for the shortest amount of time without temptation invading our thoughts and actions. We must constantly be aware of our surroundings; otherwise, the devil will prey upon our weaknesses. This competition over a man’s heart should remind us of the naive man who was caught in the twilight by the flattering words of the adulteress woman (Proverbs 7:9-23). What if this man would have never left his home? What if he would have recognized the situation and escaped? What if he would have just denied the advances of the woman? The man failed to remain in the light, and the cost of his sin was his life!

We need to realize that the darkness of this world has tremendous power and influence over the actions of men, but that does not mean there is no escape. All we need to do is remember these words of Paul –

13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13).

We may endure different times of temptation, but if we are willing to focus upon God, then our way of escape has been given. We have been called to live differently from this world, and this separation is made evident by our holy conduct in contrast with this world’s sinful activities. We have been called out of darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). May God bless our efforts to remain steadfast and immovable in this dark world by always standing in the LIGHT of His Word!