I have a confession: I am a grown woman, and I am still afraid of the dark. I’m not afraid all the time. Primarily, it’s just when my husband travels. The problem is that I’ve watched too many crime dramas. I understand that these shows are made up. I understand that my fear is irrational. I *know* that there is not someone hiding behind the curtain, waiting to pounce as soon as the light is off.
But I still check to make sure before I go to bed.
There’s something about fear of the dark that seems almost natural. Most kids struggle with it. There is something inside of us that craves illumination. We don’t want to be in the shadow- we want to be in the light.
Zechariah prophesied about light soon after his son John was born.
His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us— to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” -Luke 1:67-79
This beautiful song emphasizes God’s fulfillment of His promise. God rescues His people. John has been born. The Messiah will be born next.
Darkness allows people to hide in shame. Darkness is a symbol of unknown, danger, and sadness. Darkness causes stubbed toes, misunderstandings, and fears of what is lurking around the corner. Darkness means we can never really see each other or ourselves. Darkness prevents us from finding our way.
There is no peace in the darkness.
But because of the tender mercy of our God, the Rising Sun has come from heaven. He forgives our sins and frees us from our shame. He takes our burdens and our fears. He helps us see ourselves and others for who we really are, and unifies us in Himself. He takes us out of the shadow of death and brings us into the light of eternal life. He shows us the way to His peace.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12
We don’t have to be afraid of the dark anymore.