Sitting in the Dark

"...Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light." Micah 7:8 (NIV)

I grew up in the bush of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Because the equator ran straight through the country, we had twelve hours of light and twelve hours of darkness, give or take a half hour. At the end of our three-hour ration of nightly electricity, my dad would walk down to the generator to turn off its motor. I would scramble for the box of matches to light the candles on my desk that shut out the pitch blackness that would envelop my room. The small flame was all that was between me and a stumble in the darkness.

There were nights when I could not find those matches before the lights went out. On those occasions, I would freeze wherever I was and grope my way to my bed. My childish mind would suddenly "see" frightening images that had not been there in the light. Fear and panic would grip me as I imagined the darkness and all its horrors closing in on me.

Today was a day that reminded me of the terror of that pitch blackness that I experienced in Congo. Filled with discouragement and the weariness of soul that comes from wrestling with old insecurities, I sat in the dark for much of the day. I find that when I am in that kind of funk, I can think of nothing but the blackness around me.

I find it so comforting that David, the one whom God called a man after His own heart, struggled with days like the one I had today. He wrote, "If I say, 'Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,' even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to You." (Psalm 139:11-12). How many times have I thought that the darkness of my circumstances hides me from the Lord? The night that I have felt around me I have falsely assumed is darkness to Him also. But my night and darkness are day and light to Him. He sees everything clearly, even when I am groping around in the dark. Choosing to believe that the Lord is my light is the only way out of the blackness.