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In the dark

Night blindness is most likely one of the first symptoms of Retinitis Pigmentosa. It has something to do with the deterioration of cones and rods found in the retina that allow us to see color and light.

To be honest, I have read and studied very little that I can explain.

But symptomatically, I can tell you what I don’t see. I see nothing in the dark. I cannot see stars or the seats in a movie theatre. Normally, in a dark place, our pupils dilate, and get bigger, allowing in as much light as possible. Basically, our eyes adjust to the dark and we can see what’s in front of us. My eyes specifically, do not contract or dilate correctly due to RP.

So I’m a bit dependent, dare I say obsessive, about light. And I use this excuse to fill my house with too many candles and fun lamps. Ask anybody that comes to my house, the curtains are always open and it is full of extra lights, thanks to my amazing husband! When I’m in my own home, where furniture is in its place, chairs are pushed in, drawers and cupboards are shut and things are not left on the floor - I am able to navigate even in the dark. When the lights go out, which is often in Congo, I am quick to find things in the dark. I rely on my memory, my ears, my hands and even my feet to find my way. I can leave a room and be back with what we were looking for before Mike even puts on his flip- flops and finds a flashlight.

But whether I intentionally turn out the light, or the darkness is thrust upon me due to a power cut, I just don’t like the dark!

I’m completely dependent on light.


The Bible mentions the word ‘light’ over 200 times.

The first thing created was light.

Genesis 1:3

God is called the Father of the heavenly lights.

James 1:7

Jesus calls himself The Light of the World.

John 9:5

Christ followers are called children of light.

1 Thessalonians 5:5

His word is a light for our path.

Ps 119:105

Light cannot be overcome by darkness.

John 1:5

In a spiritual context, light is good and dark is bad.

So I was thinking, in our spiritually dark world, how much should I adjust to darkness? How comfortable should I be ‘in the dark’? I suppose this is a tension; we need to be able to see clearly in the dark yet never become too familiar with it.

Navigating in spiritual darkness requires wisdom and discernment from the Holy Spirit. And to become practiced at it, requires us to know him and be dependent on Him- the light. We need to recognize darkness by being intentional and obedient; removing the ‘dark’ that has no place in our homes. (Ouch)

I think this is the fine line in this tension. It is 1John 1:5-7 walking in the light as he is in the light - in the dark. It’s about being aware and adept while at the same time not getting too comfortable in it.

But sometimes, like today, even after I have done all those right things, I can still get sucker- punched by it. Today, the darkness shocked and surprised me, tripped me up and confused me. And then there was the doubt and uncertainty that almost overwhelmed me. But here is some good news. That flicker, that dip, causing the light to dim, it didn’t last. And the light stayed on!

So we remind ourselves that in the dark (in the yuck) we must take God’s hand and rely on His truth that we have memorized in the light. Goodness, as I was reminded today - maybe we, or should I say I, need to move some stuff around, get rid of some darkness that doesn’t belong, clear a path and even throw some potential obstacles out of the way.

Lord, thank you for the promise that you, Holy Spirit, who is in us, are greater than he who is in the world and when we resist that darkness it must flee! We need discernment. Gives us clear vision to see in the dark but not become friends with it. We need your help to navigate with wisdom and courage. Help us to be obsessed and completely dependent on you- the light.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen


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