As I climbed the stairs a few cloudy and rainy nights ago, I noticed a difference. A veil of darkness blanketed my apartment complex corridor. Halfway up the outdoor stairwell, the rungs disappeared into blackness. Ahead I could barely detect the light pole across the street, but its glow cast down to the pavement, offering very little help from my perspective. Needless to say, a chill clutched my chest for a second. What if someone lurked by my shadowed door?
Normally, a sconce hangs outside my entry to greet me. Via an automatic sensor, it flicks on when the skies darken. The same detector operates the ones at each of the four apartments in my unit along a sheltered, outdoor breezeway. I have become dependent upon its illumination when I come home after dark. It provides not only better ability to see the stairs and my door’s keyhole, but adds a sense of security. Tonight, that safeness I’d taken for granted didn’t exist.
The unexpected darkness unhinged me a bit. I felt for the keyhole and worked my key into it. After several tries, at last it slipped into place. I turned it, heard the click, twisted the door knob, and sighed in relief as I entered my apartment with the table lamp lit to greet me. Safe.
Had I waited for my eyes to adjust to the dimmed glow emitting from street lamp across the street, I probably would have been able to detect the keyhole better and determine nothing evil lurked by my stoop. But being a woman alone in the dark stairwell, I panicked –just a touch. That only made things worse. Time slowed as my anxiety increased. I became jittery with my fumbling to open the door as my brain hissed, “Hurry, hurry, hurry.”
As a Christian, have I become so used to the light of Christ that I become anxious when faced with darkness? Do I need to “see” evidence of Christ in order to believe He is always nearby? Now you may argue a Christian is never totally in the dark. However, there are dark periods in all of our lives simply because we walk the earth.
When difficult times hit me suddenly in life, may I not react the same way spiritually as I physically did in that dark corridor. Instead, let me wait patiently for my faith-eyes to locate my Lord, the One who calms, guides and protects my soul. In blessed assurance, may I stand firm in the knowledge that Christ has already won the battle over the principalities of darkness. I know He is my faith’s automatic sensor, illuminating me with truth when things appear darker than normal.
Unlike the one at my apartment, He will never fail to light my life.
Lord, keep the jitters at bay and thwart the desire to handle things quickly on my own. Even if I can’t see clearly with my eyes, may I always recall what the Psalmist states: “You are the lamp unto my feet and the light unto my path.” (119:105) Amen.