Doc Scott used to teach on this idea quite regularly, and it is a fundamental idea that is so important to grasp and to hold on to. “Don’t forget in the dark what you learned in the light.” It seems to be a simple phrase, and it is, but it is also very profound.
At some point in most people’s lives, usually early on, we are, on occasion, afraid of the dark. What’s usually the remedy? At first, it is to add light. We can be setting in bed as children with the light on, perhaps reading a story before going to sleep and our rooms are completely safe to us. We have our bed and our curtains, our toys are just where we left them. We feel safe and comfortable with everything there and clearly visible.
Now, when the light is shut out and it’s time to go to sleep, we shift our perception of the room. Nothing actually changes. Nothing. It is all still exactly the same; our bed is there, our toys, our curtains, etc… but, we panic because we don’t remember what it was like with the light on, all we are experiencing is that darkness and the shadows that are now in the room.
Applying this to theology is easy. We learn all of these great lessons and reassurances in our walk of faith. We know how wonderful God is, we learn about grace, faith, peace, forgiveness… While things are going good for us, we are indeed content and even happy with this knowledge; we feel safe and secure. When the “light” gets switched off, we often forget these lessons. When things start going down hill we start to feel uneasy. When things hit rock bottom and we are setting in the proverbial dark, that’s when we need to remember those things we learned in the light.
God is wonderful, grace exists, faith is the answer, we are loved and not alone, etc… Nothing about these fundamental facts have changed because of our rough times. Nothing. Yes, it’s hard, it’s a struggle. Life is a series of bright patches, and patches of darkness. One of the tricks to getting through the dark patches is to hold on to those things that you know to be a fact “in the light.”
As we grow older, we begin to understand that just because our nightlight is shut off, doesn’t mean that our rocking horse suddenly becomes this horrible shadowy creature…it’s still just our friendly little rocking horse. God does lead us through life from faith to faith, and He is maturing us as we go. If it is utterly true that He’ll never leave us nor forsake us, and we know this in good times, it is also as utterly true when we are going through horrible times as well.
What I really like about the phrase, “don’t forget in the dark what you learned in the light,” is that is it so easy to recall that you can usually bring it to mind when faced with awful situations, when you find yourself in that dark tunnel. Now, again, it’s not an easy slogan to live by, it’s very hard, and I forget some of the stuff I learned in the light when I go through a tunnel, especially when it is a long one. That’s one of the reasons I’m blogging about it today, and also to help remind everyone else out there going through one of these tunnels right now.