Dispelling the Darkness; the Comfort of Knotty Pine Shadows
“For You light my lamp; the Lord my God illumines my darkness.” – Psalm 18:28
Locked within the vault of my childhood memory bank are the many nights that I spent at my Grandmother’s house in Albertville, Alabama. The bedroom I slept in was adjacent to the family room and kitchen. My mom would put me to bed, leave my door cracked, and then help my grandmother clean up for the night. I still remember the warm glow of light that trickled into my room as they talked together and put up the dishes. The light was like a faithful friend, casting shadows of comfort upon those old knotty pine walls. It’s a thirty-year old memory just as fresh in my mind as if it were last night.
When children go to bed, they usually want some source of light. It might be a small lamp or a night light. Or it might be a cracked door, inviting any neighboring lights in as welcome guests. My mother did not crack my door in an attempt to let the darkness from my bedroom filter out into the well-lit kitchen. That would be nonsense. Quite the opposite; she cracked the door so the light from the kitchen could diminish the darkness of my bedroom.
Light always trumps the darkness. A well-lit room will always win the battle with a pitch black room when an adjoining door is swung open; for the light coming from the illuminated room will immediately penetrate the dark room, dispelling the darkness. I assume that the word “battle” is probably a poor word to use here. For something to even be considered a “battle” there has got to at least be some sort of contest. But with light and darkness, there is no contest. For when a door is opened, it is never darkness that spills out. It is always light.
This truth is also illustrated by author Jim Reimann. He says, “Darkness cannot overcome light. Consider this simple example: you open the door of your unlit closet while standing in your well-lit bedroom. What happens? Does the darkness spill over into the bedroom? Of course not; the light overcomes the darkness and you can now see into the once dark closet. Yet the light in the bedroom has not been diminished.”
Did you catch that? Reimann brings to light another truth in our illustration. When light from a well-lit room penetrates a dark room, the well-lit room does not lose any of its light. It is not weakened or dimmed simply because its light has spilled into another room. Shutting my bedroom door would not have made my grandmother’s kitchen any brighter.
The power light has over darkness is a fascinating subject to say the least, and there are many spiritual truths that can be gleaned from this topic. To begin with, the Bible tells us that God is the Creator of light (Genesis 1:2-3). He is also the One who turns darkness into light (2 Samuel 22:29). King David likened the Word of God to light when he said that God’s ordinances are like a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105). As we peer into the New Testament, our Lord Jesus is referred to as the Light of men (John 1:4), the Light of the world (John 9:5). In 1 John 1:5, we read that “God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” And with that truth in mind, we as believers are to “walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light” (1 John 1:7).
As children of God, we are called to be lights for the Lord (Matthew 5:16), shining His radiance into this lost dark and dying world. We are not to try to contain or restrain the light (Matthew 5:15), but rather let it spread forth into every darkened crack and crevice along our life path. And wherever we do find darkness, we must pray for an open door so that the gospel light can go forth and dispel that darkness. And as we do so, we can find comfort in knowing that the light of God will always win over the darkness of the world.
– Pastor Eric