The night is far gone; the day is at hand.
So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Romans 13:12 (ESV)
My book club recently read a mystery entitled Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger. The story revolves around two brothers growing up in Minnesota who prematurely cross the threshold into young manhood because of heartbreaking events during the summer of 1961.
At the beginning of the story, the older brother, Frank, sees himself as a future juvenile delinquent even though he is the son of a pastor. These are his thoughts: I sat on the steps of my father’s church thinking how much I loved the dark. The taste of what it offered sweet on the tongue of my imagination. The delicious burn of trespass on my conscience. I was a sinner. I knew that without a doubt. But I was not alone. And the night was the accomplice of us all. (p. 34)
I noticed many references to darkness throughout the book. Phrases like—an early dark—a hard dark—the long dark of the night. It got me to thinking that light symbolizes God in Scripture and darkness refers to everything that is anti-God—and although darkness is opaque to us, it is transparent to God.
I thought about God KNOWING the darkness—He knows where it is and what it contains. He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him (Daniel 2:22 ESV). I thought about God RULING the darkness—He created it and owns it. I form light and create darkness… (Isaiah 45:7 ESV). I thought about God USING the darkness—He hides Himself from the sight of men. He made darkness His covering… (Psalm 18:11 ESV).
What is your view of children being exposed to the occasional darkness of adult life? Ephesians says we all are darkened in our understanding…due to the hardness of our hearts. That summer, instead of rarely thinking about God, Frank was forced to deal with his own despair. Severely challenged—he eventually turned toward the Light for answers and found the secret. Instead of wisdom and understanding coming before obedience he learned that it follows after obedience—gracefully falling drop by drop down into his heart.