Unbeknownst to my family, a rescue mission we didn’t know we needed, was put into action on February 13, 2008. A plan written by the one true Author. Unaware of its presence, for many years, an untamed evil darkness veiled my family’s daily life. Inconspicuously, my husband (at that time) weaved his secrets and deadly darkness into each moment. When suspicions arose, he quickly smothered them with his charming smile, joyful laugh, and crafty words. In secret, the darkness grew until one day he vanished.
Plucked out of our life, the darkness shattered, and light overtook even the bleakest moments. Clarity made an entrance—the wickedness was revealed—and no longer allowed to invade my family. God ripped the veil away and shone a light into the darkness we’d unknowingly been stumbling through for years. Twelve years ago, darkness collided with light.
No longer were my children and I held captive by his dark lies, dangerous deception, and secret life. No longer were we isolated or mistreated. A pathway out of his darkness—the evil he invited—was carved for us when my former husband chose not to come home from work that day. Although the life we knew brutally collapsed, we had been rescued.
Without a doubt, we needed to grieve, and wounds required healing—scars will always remain. Grief has come in waves, ebbing and flowing over the years, but it doesn’t have a hold on us. Initially, the anniversary of his disappearance tempted me to succumb to a dark day—a day of grief and mourning. Until, I realized it was not a dark day, though once excruciating; it has always been a day of light. February 13th marks the day the light broke through the darkness, and my children and I were given a way out of his destruction.
What light is powerful enough to break through the darkness?
Humanity is confronted with three primary types of light and darkness—literal (such as the sun and night), figurative (imagery), and spiritual (God/light and Satan/darkness).
Genesis 1:1-2 begins the telling of creation, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.” Move forward for a moment to Genesis 3 where we see a great tragedy unfold—the entrance of evil into our world. Once sin entered into the world, darkness was revealed as something to be feared and avoided. Evil is embraced and harbored by the darkness, which many of us prefer to avoid.
Making our way back to the creation narrative, literal light takes form in Genesis 1:3-5; “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” Since those first known words from God, light has illuminated the literal darkness through the sun, moon, and later, through fire.
As the world progressed, candles and oil lamps were used to bring light after sunset. The use of light progressed over the centuries to bring us where we are today—simply push a button or flip a switch and voila, a light comes on, banishing the literal dark. Equally, it is just as easy to enter darkness by turning out all of the lights and seemingly disappear. However, no one is powerful enough to veil the moon’s light, nor can we stop the sun from rising.
We can’t hide from God
Just as we do not have control over the light of the sun and moon, we cannot hide in the darkness. Job 34:22 says, “There is no gloom or deep darkness where evildoers may hide themselves.” We embolden Satan when we succumb to evil. Darkness, all kinds, is capable of hiding a great deal—but it cannot conceal our atrocities. Because God is omniscient—He knows everything, including every deed and thought—nothing is hidden from him (1 Kings 8:39; Psalms 33:13-15; Hebrews 4:13). Although we may go to great lengths to conceal our sinful choices from those around us, it is impossible to hide even the smallest detail from God.
He is the Light and our rescuer
As my three-year-old reminds me each night as I turn on her nightlight and tuck her into bed, “scary things happen in the dark.” While this is correct, darkness manifests during daylight too. Unable to conquer all darkness—the kind that weaves its way into our lives—the literal light cannot offer the safety we seek. Conquering the untouchable evils of the darkness requires the most powerful source—God. Evil lurks in the shadows; spiritually, figuratively, and literally, and only God can overpower all evil.
All light comes from God and therefore those who do not know him sit in darkness. As we see in Luke 11:33-36, Jesus uses the literal light of the lamp to illustrate for us how what we take in will affect us, and the importance of not being spiritually dark. Those who are spiritually healthy will produce light as we read about in 1 John 1:5-7;
“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
Although non-believers receive the common grace of literal light, without salvation, they are unable to participate in true light. We all fall short of the glory of God—we are all sinners—and therefore, we need to be rescued. There is only one righteous enough to fulfill God’s requirements to spend eternity with him. God, in his majesty and love for his family, chose to give his children the only worthy Savior—his son, Jesus.
Our only Savior—Jesus—is the one true light, which casts out all darkness (John 1:5,9). He came as the propitiation for our sins, the one sacrifice worthy of God (Romans 3:22-25; 1 John 2:2). Jesus is the light of the world and rescues us through salvation. In John 8:12, Jesus says,
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Each life on earth will face dark trials, however, Christ followers have the light of Christ to break through the darkness and illuminate the path. The darkness my former husband brought into our lives created utter anguish and destruction. God’s light shown brightly into the darkness, lighting a path out of the devastation.
In Christ, we no longer fear darkness because God illumines truth; John 1:5, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Often times we will find ourselves stumbling and unsure of the next step, and still, He walks with us, guiding each stride. He is our hope when darkness invades our life. He rescues us in the temporal, and ultimately through His work on the cross. God is our supreme rescuer, the only one powerful enough to obliterate all darkness.