Darkness Good Or Bad?

“On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me”
Psalm 63:6-8 (NIV)

As little children most of us were afraid of the dark. Such fear is very understandable. Not being able to see anything around us combined with an overactive imagination makes a person able to conjure up all kinds of danger lurking nearby. Fear of the dark inspires us to have night lights in our children’s bedrooms to turn on when they are put to bed.

On the other hand a shadow can be very comforting. When we are in danger and are in the shadow of a tall powerful person, we feel safe. As a young boy on my grandmother’s farm, I occasionally when out hunting a black bear who chased our cows home. My very tall uncle, who cast a long shadow and carried a powerful loaded rifle, was right beside me. I was hoping we would meet the bear. My uncle was an expert marksman and so I felt very brave standing in his shadow.

Our verses today speak of confidence in the darkness of night and in the shadow of Jehovah’s wings. No safer place is possible for the child of God than in the Lord’s shadow. This position speaks of ultimate safety. Being beside the Creator of the universe gives the believer total confidence regardless of how frightening the threat might be. Cease staring at the enemy believer and look long at the mighty God Who is your sovereign, loving heavenly Father. Read the following words of John Newton and be at peace with your present problem.

Begone, unbelief,
My Savior is near,
And for my relief
Will surely appear;
By prayer let me wrestle,
And He will perform;
With Christ in the vessel,
I smile at the storm.

Though dark be my way,
Since He is my Guide,
’Tis mine to obey,
’Tis His to provide;
Though cisterns be broken,
And creatures all fail,
The word He hath spoken
Shall surely prevail.

His love, in time past,
Forbids me to think
He’ll leave me at last
In trouble to sink:
Each sweet Ebenezer
I have in review
Confirms His good pleasure
To help me quite through.

Why should I complain
Of want or distress,
Temptation or pain?
He told me no less;
The heirs of salvation,
I know from His Word,
Through much tribulation
Must follow their Lord.

How bitter that cup
No heart can conceive,
Which He drank quite up,
That sinners might live!
His way was much rougher
And darker than mine;
Did Christ, my Lord, suffer,
And shall I repine?

Since all that I meet
Shall work for my good,
The bitter is sweet,
The medicine, food;
Though painful at present,
’Twill cease before long,
And then, oh, how pleasant
The conqueror’s song!

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