I Was Just Thinking About – DARKNESS.
Many people have an innate fear of darkness. There are the thoughts that someone is lurking in that darkness of something nefarious (wicked or criminal) may suddenly occur. Jesus, Himself, referenced these possibilities in John 3:19-20 (NLT), “The judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.”
In 1874, Mary Baker wrote the words based upon Mark 4, and referenced a physical characteristic of a fierce and dangerous storm at sea: “Master, the tempest is raging!The billows are tossing high!The sky is overshadowed with blackness,No shelter or help is nigh;Carest Thou not that we perish…?” Another Hymnwriter, Edward More (1834), expressed darkness from a spiritual perspective when he penned: “When darkness seems to hide His face…” In the 1980s, A Christian Fiction writer, Frank Peretti wrote two books – This Present Darkness and Piercing The Darkness – that captured the interest of more than 15 million people who purchased his books. A Blog worth reading is written by Terry Powell - Penetrating The Darkness - is a former (retired) faculty member at Columbia International University. He has some keen insights that are shared about depression and the darkness one can experience at such a time.
I have written a book, somewhat transparent, about my months of treatment for Lymphoma. When I was sedated for the insertion of a tracheotomy, I had a strange mental vision of being trapped in a cave of just stalagmites. I was in that cave trapped under heavy plastic that had been shrunken over the stalagmites. At the time, I was wanting to be free but could not escape. I was tightly trapped and could not move. I heard voices but no one willing to help me during my plight. Even though that experience is more distant as each day passes, I still have moments of “flash-back” to that moment that seems so real. Do I expect any reader to understand it? No! I have no idea what anesthesia was used but it is not an experience that one should have or desire.
One of the realities when being diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer is the possibility of death within a brief period of time. I knew there were people praying for me and who genuinely cared – but – the brevity of life and the possible abrupt ending was difficult for both thought and expression. During my Chemotherapy sessions, a question that was asked each time was: “Have you considered suicide (ending your own life)?” I was annoyed by the question and it was never a thought I entertained. There were three things that helped me during that time.
First, Jeremiah 29:11, the Lord’s Word – “I know the plans that I have for you…that you might have a future and a hope.”
Second, words in an anthem written by L.E. Singer and Don Wyrtzen, Finally Home: “When engulfed by the terror Of tempestuous sea; Unknown waves before you roll…When surrounded by the blackness Of the darkest night; O how lonely death can be…” The Refrain is: “Just think of stepping on shore And finding it heaven; Of touching a hand and finding it God's; Of breathing new air and finding it celestial Of waking up in glory and finding it home.”
Third was an old Hymn quoted above that expresses: “My hope is built on nothing lessThan Jesus’ blood and righteousness.I dare not trust the sweetest frame,But wholly trust in Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid rock I stand…” This truth is the light that pierces through the darkness of uncertainty and innate fears.
Prayerfully – Consider these things with me.