Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Afraid of the Dark

Last night I was putting my 3 year old son to bed. He likes for me to lay down with him for awhile each night while he drifts off to the land of Nod. His request? "Rest with me, Mama."

Oh, twist my arm. A chance to cuddle, rub his little soft head and smell his yumminess? Yeah, I'll take him up on his request...just for a minute...or ten. Plus, it really does give me a chance to talk with him about his day. It seems like my kids wind down enough at bedtime to share parts of their day they might not otherwise. So, I do try to take this precious time with each of them.

It is just that sometimes this precious time eeks into my precious alone time or my precious couple time with my husband as they try to delay bedtime as long as possible.

So, last night I was trying to explain to my son that he is getting to be a big boy and he does not need mommy so much anymore. I tried to explain to him how he can do lots of things on his own now and falling asleep is one of them. He told me that he needs me there to help him fall asleep because he is scared. I assured him that he is very brave and had nothing to be afraid of. I asked what he was scared of.

He says, "I am scared inside. I am afraid of the dark. I don't know what is in the dark."

Now, I understand that many little kids are afraid of the dark. Both of my kids sleep with night lights and I am starting to see from my older one that they eventually grow to realize that the dark is not so scary.

I have to admit, though, that even I don't like to enter a room until I have turned the light on.

While I feel safe and protected in my home, I find comfort in knowing what I am walking into.

So, my son's statement actually rings a little true in more ways than just the obvious.

I thought about this. Isn't walking into a dark room like walking in faith?

While I feel safe and protected in my relationship with God, I sometimes would really feel more comfortable if I knew more about the situation I was walking into.

If I knew ahead of time about the dark places I might have to go through, would I still go? Or would I try to take a safer more well-lit route?

But then, what miracles would I not get a chance to see? What life lessons would I miss out on?

As I look back on my more private journals I see that I write a lot about fear. I will even ask myself, "What are you afraid of???"

More than not, my answer is the fear of the unknown. It comes in many disguises, but undressed it is just the fear of not knowing what I am walking into.

In my journal writings, I, with some divine inspiration, usually come to the same conclusion.

My fears are based on what I can do (or can't do) in a situation. It is based on my own capabilities and my own will.

I realize that I am not trusting God to be the light in my darkness. I become paralyzed by this fear of the darkness. Entering into the unknown.

I can't move forward.

I can only get by for so long on my own abilities. And then, I have to look for the light.

Just like when I enter a dark room. I look for the light switch.

I move forward in the dark, through my fears to the light.

As I finished up with my son the other night, I reminded him to look toward the light coming from his closet and his night light and not look to the dark. I encouraged him to pray and ask God to protect him in the dark. It seems so simple, doesn't it?

We walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 NASB

The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going...put your trust in the light while you have it so that you may become sons of light.
John 12:35 -36 NIV

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