Light In Someone’s Darkness

As a young child rooted within the Christian faith, I learned many of the “Church” songs for kids.  “This Little Light of Mine” was one of them I remember, and one I even taught to my children.  If you don’t know it, here are the chorus and first stanza:

This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine,
Let it shine,
Let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m gonna let it shine
Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m gonna let it shine
Hide it under a bushel? No!
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine,
Let it shine,
Let it shine.

This little song was used to teach me, as a person of faith, I must not hide my faith.  My faith needs to be shown to others in such a way that they will recognize it and would, in turn, want to become part of the family of God.  The song was a message of evangelism.

Perhaps, so.  Nothing wrong with an interpretation such as this.  Jesus taught us that he was the Light of the world and would rescue those living in darkness. As he prepared to leave, Jesus commissioned his friends to take over his role as lights in the world. Believers would be the ones who lead people out of the darkness and into the light.  I get it.

But as I’ve traveled this path of faith, I have come to know another kind of darkness.  People of faith, as all people, often go through dark times in their lives.  Believers are not immune to trouble and problems.  This dark time may not necessarily come from our own making, but nonetheless, it is real.  Often these periods of crisis can be quite painful and sometimes last a long time. During this time of darkness, we wonder where God is and what he is doing with our lives.

Now the thing about this dark time is our need for light.  We long for light.  We ache for the reason for this darkness, a sense of God’s presence, and want to know this is only temporary.  We want to know that God is not far from us.  He is not, in fact, lost in the darkness, because in Psalm 139, verse 12 it says:

even the darkness will not be dark to you;

the night will shine like the day,

for darkness is as light to you.

But we must be reminded of this.  It is essential in our faith journey to have others be the light in our darkness.  We require assurance from others who have traveled this road before us, those who have made it through the darkness and back into the light. We need the faith of others to come alongside us, to help us get through the dark times.

Practically speaking, bringing the light is not about giving advice, it is not the belittlement of our persons or situations, nor is it platitudes.

Again, it is essential for the person in darkness to have someone who will come alongside us and listen without judgment.  There is a gift of unquestionable worth when those of us experiencing this kind of darkness have someone who is willing to give their faith to us, not in a condescending way, but standing firm in confidence for us.  And speaking reassurance that this time is purposeful and most importantly, transient.

I recently read a poem by William Brodrick, and the last stanza struck me:

We have to be candles, burning between hope and despair,

faith and doubt, life and death,

all the opposites.

There is no better encouragement than the word of a person bringing light into our darkness.

In Exodus 17, the Israelites are being attacked by the Amalekites.  Moses did not go into the battle, but stood on a hill overlooking it.  He held his arms up, holding the rod God had given to him.  While his arms were up, the Israelites won the battle, but when his arms grew weary and started to lower, the Amalekites began to overtake the Israelites.  His brother Aaron and another man came alongside him and held Moses’ arms up for him.  The Israelites won the day.

This is an example of simple encouragement. Moses needed to keep his arms up, and in his weakness, he could not do it.  But with the help of his friends who were at that moment stronger, the enemy was defeated.

I for one, know my need for the encouragement of others during the dark times of my life.  There is a special place in my heart for those who have weathered these times with me and have helped me through the darkness.  Their faith has been like the men who held up Moses’ arms during the battle.   It may seem like a little thing, but it makes all the difference in the world.

Do you know someone who is currently in a dark time?  Please be there.  Give them your light.  Let your faith be the difference in someone’s coming out of the dark time triumphantly, or in defeat.

Can you be the light in someone else’s darkness?

 

Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Rebecca Montie Preston
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Rebecca Montie Preston

Becky is a Spiritual Director from southeastern Pennsylvania.Her other roles include wife, mother of two, and grandmother of six.She has her MA from Biblical Theological Seminary, and studied at Renovare Institute for Spiritual Formation and Kairos School for Spiritual Direction.
Rebecca Montie Preston
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8 thoughts on “Light In Someone’s Darkness

  1. Gretchen

    Beautiful reminder of how to be a light by being in Him–and yes! We all need reminding that He is with us and He loves us when those dark times come. I have a friend who is going through so much–been crying out to God on her behalf, because her story is so reminiscent of Job’s. Told her I was holding up her arms from Seattle. We need the love of other believers so badly.

    Reply

    1. Rebecca Preston

      You may not ever know how improtant you are in your friend’s life right now. To be on the journey with another without judgement is precious!

      Reply

  2. Diane

    “It may seem like a little thing, but it makes all the difference in the world..” I think we underestimate the little we could do that has such huge impact. A text saying we’re praying for her, a note via snail mail, a phone call, a long breakfast….all of these little things have been instrumental in my faith walk and all often delivered by the most unlikely of suspects! God moves His people into place to support each other. Thanks, Becky, for reminding me to move when God nudges at me cause I too often wonder if my ‘little’ is ‘big’ enough (oh my, could I be more self-centered in that view!!)

    Reply

    1. Rebecca Preston

      We often learn from our own experience! You know, go and do likewise….

      Reply

  3. Sarah Robinson

    Agreed! What a gift listening without judging truly is. It’s made all the difference in my growth and I can only hope to extend same grace.

    Reply

    1. Rebecca Preston

      Listening, and sometimes letting the person know that you believe God’s promises now, even if they are unable to do so.

      Reply

  4. Ginger Fox

    Thanks Becky for this beautiful reminder! Light … truly can make a difference!

    Reply

    1. Rebecca Preston

      Thanks, Ginger!

      Reply

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