Every parent of a child over 2 has likely been awakened in the middle of the night by their little one standing bedside tugging on them, with tears saying, “Mommy –– Daddy, I’m afraid!” There’s something about darkness that breeds frightening, monstrous imaginations in a child.
But terror in the night is not proprietary to toddlers. Adults understand it too. How many times have you been robbed of sleep by worry? How often do you find yourself tossing and turning in the darkness, trying to get some relief from the panic you sense in your soul.
Fear is a monster. It can creep up on us slowly or assault us suddenly. When it comes it paints ugly, evil pictures in our minds. It takes the smallest concerns or problems and exaggerates them to irrational, illogical proportions and conclusions. It takes our minds hostage and hijacks our emotions. It paralyzes us with feelings of impotence. It sentences us to inevitable, unavoidable doom. When fear takes over it’s like a fast moving freight train heading for a massive, impenetrable wall. Fear convinces us that there’s no way to stop the crash or the consequences of it.
It’s amazing what a little light will do to dispel fear. Light gets rid of the haunting, monster-like shadows that thrive in the night. Light produces calm and peace. It brings perspective. The glow of a night light often diminishes and sometimes completely drives away the fears that overwhelm us in the darkness.
We find a great example of the power of light to free us from fear in a Bible story describing an experience in the lives of Jesus’ disciples. After Jesus was crucified, His disciples were overtaken with fear. They were sure that, like Jesus, they would be arrested and executed too. Take a look at one of their dark, fearful moments:
That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid … — John 20:19 (NLT)
Following Jesus’ death, the 11 apostles felt very vulnerable to attack. In the darkness of Easter Sunday evening, still questioning the reality of Jesus’ resurrection, they locked themselves in a room, huddling together in fear. They anticipated a future filled with lots of bad things.
The Greek word used for “fear” in this passage is “phobos.” It means “a state of severe distress, aroused by intense concern for impending pain, danger or evil.”These guys were paralyzed, terrorized, and neutralized by the imaginations of the horrible possibilities ahead for them.
But something wonderful happened that night:
… Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” He said. As He spoke, He showed them the wounds in His hands and His side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again He said, “Peace be with you …” — John 20:19-21 (NLT)
Jesus stepped into the fear-filled room that evening. The One who is “The Light of the World” showed up and declared “Peace!” to His terrorized disciples. He reminded them that He was alive, that He was the “Risen Lord,“ and that He was with them. When He entered the room, every demon of fear exited! The men were immediately delivered from their tormenting thoughts. The true “Light” invaded and conquered their fears that night!
Are you battling fear? Do you struggle with ugly, evil monsters of darkness that intimidate and emotionally eviscerate you –– depriving you of rest and peace?
Remember, the same Jesus who revealed Himself to a group of fearful men hunkered in a locked room over 2,000 years ago is alive today and He’s available for you. You can call on Him. You can trust Him. He’s the “Light” that will transform your dark night of fear. Let Jesus be your Night Light!
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