Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Even the Darkness

“Even the darkness is not dark to Thee,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to Thee.”
Psalm 139:12

My eyes popped open to total darkness. I craned my neck toward the digital clock. Nothing. I tried to click on the nightstand lamp. Zip. 

My husband Chuck’s soft snore mingled with the sound of the peaceful river outside our bedroom door. One reason we’d chosen this B & B for a three-day, much-needed get-a-way. 

Bladder screaming, I inched from under the downy comforter and groped along the wall toward the bathroom. Or so I thought. When multiple tries produced no door opening, I started to panic. Just as I was ready to give up, I stumbled from carpet to tile and knew I’d reached my destination.

Back in bed, I sensed the oppressive darkness unsettle me. “Chuck . . . Chuck,” I whispered, hating to wake him while at the same time needing to. “Can you see the digital clock?”

He stirred, groaned. “No.”

I had no way of knowing if he’d really looked, but for sanity’s sake, I decided to believe him. “Good. I thought I was blind.” One of my deep-seated fears since childhood.

In all honesty, I’d never appreciated utter darkness while sleeping. Chuck, on the other hand, slept best that way. Not me. I like a glimmer of light.

In the stillness, I shook my head. The electric must be out. As I lay back, a suffocating panic seized my heart. Silly, really, I told myself, given I sleep with my eyes closed anyway. But simply knowing I couldn’t reach over and switch on a light created panic, similar to the feeling one might have in a stuck elevator or a MRI machine.

I knew I was in trouble, so I turned to prayer and scripture. “Help me, Lord. Calm my anxious thoughts.” It took sheer determination to redirect my focus to the Lord, rather than my inability to turn on a light, but God enabled me.

One scrap of scripture kept circulating through my mind. “Even the darkness is not dark to Thee . . .” Choosing to meditate on that thought, I realized that since God is light, wherever He is, there is light. I belong to Him; He lives in me, so light fills me. I closed my eyes and imagined a sunny beach and light filled my mind.

A couple years ago I read the autobiography of Jacque Lusseyran, blind leader of the French resistance during the Nazi occupation. He shared a similar phenomenon which I now better understood. He said when he succumbed to fear he was overwhelmed by the darkness, but when he set his mind on the Light as expressed in John, chapter one, he sensed he could “see” light and be filled with light. Such power of God’s Word working in conjunction with a disciplined mind.

Moments later, I opened my eyes once more. A small panel of light shone through the Venetian blind on the French door. Moonlight, perhaps? All else remained completely black. It was as if God was gifting me a slither of light to remind me that He was with me, and perhaps to reward my faithful focus on Him, even in the darkness.

Eileen Rife, author of Second Chance, speaks to women’s groups, encouraging them to discover who they are in Christ and what part they play in His amazing story. www.eileenrife.com, www.amazon.com/author/EileenRife, www.eileen-rife.blogspot.com.


  1. Beautiful reflection, Eileen! Yes, even in the darkness, God is with us. Blessings!

  2. Lovely, Eileen. Thanks for sharing it. And in a different place...not in our own comfortable home, we can get a bit panicky. The unknown. The Darkness. Sometimes scary. But God is our light and He is always with us. Blessings, Holly

  3. I love this, Eileen. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Ladies! What a joy to encourage one another in our faith journeys.