July 2, 2018 by Katy Epling
As a child, I had awful recurring nightmares. Over the years a few different “plots” played on repeat in my head, some of which I can still remember. All of them ended the same way, though: me waking up in terror, summoning my courage to run to my parents’ room through the gauntlet of monsters I was certain were waiting for me in my dark bedroom. Unfortunately, the longer I sat in my bed staring into the darkness, the more frightening the shapes in my room would become. They loomed larger and larger, and I felt certain all hope was lost.
On those nights, my mom would hear my cries and come to me before I ran to her. She would gently turn on the lights to reveal the truth about the monsters in my room: they weren’t there. Sure, in the dark I saw threatening creatures, but the light proved them to be clothes mounded on a chair or the pile of toys left in a corner. I wouldn’t flip the switch myself, convinced I would be confronted by the monsters that haunted my dreams, but she was confident she (and I) could handle whatever we saw—the key was to let the light in.
Isn’t this true of the Christian walk as well? How often do we hesitate to bring our sins or hardships to the Lord, afraid of their enormity? The sin in our lives looms over us in the darkness, far too big and scary to face on our own. Hardships we attempt to tackle with our own strength seem overwhelming. Trouble seems poised to jump out from behind every door, and we would rather close our eyes than subject ourselves to facing what we are certain we cannot conquer.
But when we call on Jesus, he runs to us with arms wide open. When he shines the light into the darkness of our lives, he doesn’t shrink back or cower. His light reveals the truth, stealing the power from the darkness. He knows he has already defeated the monsters of sin and trials we face in this world, so we have nothing to fear.
Here’s the embarrassing truth about the nights my mom came to my room: the light dispelled my fears about the monsters, but they also revealed the truth underneath… a messy room. Often the terrifying shapes and figures were created by things I had left undone and allowed to pile up. When Jesus brings his light into our lives, the same is true. We might have sin we need to deal with, consequences we have to face, hard work we need to do. But in the light of his truth, the obstacles before us seem less daunting, less powerful. We know we can face what is before us because we know we don’t have to face it alone. Jesus will walk every step of the way with us.
What are you avoiding in your life today? Have you cowered under the covers in the dark, afraid of the shapes and shadows looming before you? Call on Jesus. Let the light in. Let the light strip the darkness of its power and reveal the truth. See those monsters for what they really are: obstacles that Christ has already defeated, that you can tackle with him by your side.