This semester has been unusually full of angst. Naturally, there is the course work, the papers, the endless to do list that seems to keep growing that many of my college peers can attest to. However, that has not been the primary source of this overwhelming anxiety.
There is no question as to whether evil exists in the world. Of course it does. We all see it, experience it, know it, and despise it. However, there have been many recent, poignant reminders of the senseless, merciless, unnatural nature of evil that causes all of us to scratch our heads and wonder...why? These events are pressing. They are frightening. Whether it is the refugee crisis, the threat of terrorism, or even a loved one being diagnosed with an illness, confusion grows. I've found myself burdened with the fear of the future as my head hits the pillow each coming night.
I know that I am not the only one who feels this confusion, angst, and helplessness. We all see the endless articles, posts, news broadcasts, the list goes on...and it feels like we can't escape the darkness.
I've never been one to like the dark. As a small girl I would cry at the thought of not being able to have the light from the TV flickering on my wall to help me fall asleep at night. That thought soon became a reality when the summer ended and the TV was turned off at bed time. During that trying time, as soon as my parents turned out the light, I found myself praying that my Dad didn't do the dishes. If Dad had not washed the dishes yet, that meant the kitchen light would soon flick on.
My eyes would be fixated on the crack of my door, and every so often the light would suddenly beam from the kitchen down the hall, and into my dark bedroom through that small opening. The best sleep I ever experienced always happened when I saw this light and could hear the muffled voices of my parents in the kitchen, probably debriefing the events of the day as they washed dishes. Such a peace would wash over me as those familiar voices talked me to sleep. Something about their movement and speech made me feel safe, protected, at ease, and I could sleep at last.
I'm writing all of this to let you know that there is Someone that has left the light on. Someone has left the light on for you. This seems impractical and irrational considering the reality on the ground. This world is overcome with darkness just as my room was. But there is another reality that lies outside of our world, our dark room. This is the reality of a God who is not uninvolved or disengaged, but a God who sacrificed Himself to bring us a peace that can keep our anxieties at bay when our head hits the pillow each coming night. What occurred on the cross of Jesus is the beam of light piercing through the crack in our dark door of reality.
His sacrifice can give you hope if only you'll turn around and see the protective movement of His kind hands, hear the compassion in the muffled Voice. In this moment we are still inside of the dark room, but we won't always be. There is something more. There is Someone who is more.
I hesitated in writing this for fear that it would seem cliche. However, it was a powerful realization for me when I recognized that the same security I found in knowing that my parents were awake as I slept is found immeasurably more in the arms of One who gave everything for me and holds the universe as I sleep. If we are willing to listen, we can hear the sounds of heaven breaking through the silence of our dark room. We can know that Someone is awake. Someone is protecting us. Someone left the light on.