And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
Something Happens in the Dark
Take a journey with me. Now, this will seem strange to some of you. It was a strange idea to me, at first, as well.
But I invite you to take a journey with me into the dark.
This is Part 1 of a two-part devotional.
Some fear the it, while others think it is an exciting place. Still others find it comforting. There are those who feel it is limiting. Then there are those who – like me – think of the dark as a portal into infinity … and beyond!
The Happenings in the Dark can be Scary
Especially for young ones, it is a scary place.
I don’t know when it happens, exactly, but almost everyone I know has had the experience – when they were young – of being “scared of the dark.”
Hence the whole industry of night lights in every shape and form, even special pillows that light up!
The Happenings in the Dark can be Exciting
But it can also be exciting.
When I was younger, my parents took me and my brother on several family vacations to Florida.
On those vacations we would drive all the way. And we always left in the wee hours of the morning in order to get through Chicago and well into Indiana before the morning rush hour began.
In other words, our family vacations began in the dark.
We would pack the luggage and pack the car the night before. My parents would let my brother and I stay up late so as to be tired during the first part of the drive.
Those family vacations were great and the anticipation of leaving at night was exciting!
In the early ‘80’s, my dad took my brother and me to Florida for a very special vacation. It was April of 1981 and this time we flew down to the east coast of Florida. We landed in Tampa on Thursday evening and drove that night across the state to Titusville.
The night was dark. But about four o’clock in the morning, there appeared in the eastern sky a false dawn.
As we drew closer my heart started pounding with excitement.
Lit up like a sunrise, there it was. The Space Shuttle Columbia on pad 39A.
My dad took my brother and me on an incredible adventure to see the first shuttle launch and there, in the early morning hours of Friday, April 10, I saw for the first time with my own eyes the Space Shuttle!
Some exciting things happened for me – or at least began – in the dark back then.
The Happenings in the Dark can be Comforting
It can also be comforting.
I find it easier to sleep in a darkened, don’t you?
Low light can be romantic – candlelight dinners, a walk in a city park at night, that kind of thing.
We also tend to find it more comfortable to watch a movie in the dark, see a play in a darkened theater, or listen to a music concert where the only light is on the musicians or stage.
The Happenings in the Dark can be Limiting
There are those who feel that the dark is limiting. I know that the older I get, the harder it is for me to see at night.
Still others feel that the dark is oppressive, like a blanket covering you, limiting your movements.
The dark can make you feel like walls are closing in on you. That’s what I felt when I was on a cave tour in Mammoth Caves National Park and the ranger turned off all the lights.
It was a darkness that pressed in on you.
The Happenings in the Dark can be Infinite
However, I have found that sometimes being in the dark can be a soul-opening experience.
For example, the blackness of space reveals its infinity, its boundlessness.
If there is truly a place without boundaries, it must be space. John Piper, in Don’t Waste Your Life, said this,
“God made man small and the universe big to say something about himself. And he says it for us to learn and enjoy – namely, that he is infinitely great and powerful and wise and beautiful. The more the Hubble telescope sends back to us about the unfathomable depths of space, the more we should stand in awe of God. The disproportion between us and the universe is a parable about the disproportion between us and God. And it is an understatement.”
In Part 2, we’ll look at what we have found in the dark.
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