Afraid of the Dark - Advent Devotional Day 3

Scripture
"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.
    On those living in a pitch-dark land, light has dawned." - Isaiah 9:2

Reflection
When I was younger, I was afraid of the dark. If I happened to wake up in the middle of the night, I would bury myself under my covers, no matter how warm it got under there. I’m not sure I even knew what it was specifically that I was afraid of: Monsters? Ghosts? Someone breaking into my house?

Now I’m all grown up, and if I’m being honest, I’m still a little afraid of the dark. Not the dark bedroom, necessarily, but the dark thoughts that find me in the middle of the night. Instead of monsters, it’s insomnia, being desperately tired but not being able to fall back asleep. Instead of ghosts, it’s anxiety, worrying about how my kid is really doing in middle school. Instead of masked burglars, it’s sadness, struggling to accept a new reality and longing for “the way it used to be”. 

I no longer feel the need to bury myself in covers, sweating it out until I finally fall asleep. But as an adult, I find myself lying there in the dark, anxiously waiting for the bedroom to grow lighter. And then something magical happens when you start to see the corners of the room, the lines of the furniture appear, and the blackness fades to gray. It feels like hope. Like the darkness that found its way in during the night will disappear with the rising sun. 

That’s how God’s presence feels in my life. Sometimes the dark creeps in, the anxiety builds, the tension mounts, the sadness deepens. It gets harder to imagine relief, peace, and joy. Daybreak can feel hours away. But, the sun always rises. God is always nearby, ready to meet me with hope. In fact, he was never gone, it just felt that way in the dark.

Prayer
God, you are faithful! Just like the sun rises every morning, you are always there, working all things for good. God, thank you for your light. Your light overcomes the darkness that creeps into our lives, it banishes the anxiety, the sadness, the despair. It gives us hope. Please shine that light into all the dark places in our lives and in our world. Bring us hope. Amen.

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