“Daddy! Daddy!” My two-year old daughter woke up in a panic. It was 5:30am and she was sick with a lot of congestion in her nose and throat. She awoke from a coughing fit, but now she was very alert and confused. That night in particular, it was completely dark outside and she didn’t know why she couldn’t see anything out her window. I picked her up from her crib and set her on the floor, and she ran to look outside. She cried, “Where is my playset!? Where is my swing? Where is my slide?” It disturbed her that all she could see was darkness instead of her treasured playset.
No explanation I provided convinced her of her playset’s presence in our backyard. I said to her, “Lena, your playset is still there. You don’t need to worry. I know you can’t see it. It is just dark right now. It will get light outside. Trust me!” Her furrowed brow informed me that my words still came up short. Though her disoriented reaction was funny and cute, it made me think how we all process differently as we try to come to terms with darkness and uncertain, confusing times.
Throughout life, we all wonder, ask questions, draw inferences, and make conclusions about the world and how everything works. Sometimes things do not add up for us, and our previous conclusions are challenged. We think about a painful experience or a difficult relationship in our life, and it just feels dark. We struggle to see how God might be working in those moments: the reality of life does not always seem to reflect the promises we await from our heavenly Father.
King David processed something similar, asking, “Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1) He was trying to reckon his theology with his life. Just because we may not feel God’s presence does not mean that He has abandoned us. Just because life is difficult does not mean that God is not blessing us. My perspective can be so time-bound, one-dimensional, and finite that I just want clarity and understanding of “why things are the way that they are.”
In his writings, we see King David find resolution time and time again. He wrestled with his thoughts, questioned his beliefs, and then concluded that God is in control and is a solid place for him to stand, always. In one psalm, David writes, “For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness… This God – His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.” (Psalm 18:28, 30)
I sat with my daughter early that morning, and we eventually saw the sun rise and that her playset was indeed safe and secure.
Lord, thank you for your patience with us as our Heavenly Father. Help us to trust in your word in
the darkness. Help us to turn to you, rather than run away from you when things get difficult.
Let your light shine upon us. Continue to protect and guide us. Amen.