It’s happened to all of us. We walk through the door, flip the light switch on, and nothing happens. We flip the switch again, but still nothing. In an instant our thoughts race. We suppose our worst-case-scenario vulnerability, and fear wraps its cold, bony fingers around our hearts. We’re out of control and out of our minds. We are in the dark, and we hate it.
I wonder why the dark is such an awful place to be? I wonder why ending up there scares us like it does?
The message of First John might help clear things up a bit, so grab your Bible, and let’s take a look.
In chapter one, John tells us that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. It doesn’t say darkness creeps in unnoticed and lives in hiding till it’s discovered. It says there is NO darkness AT ALL. In the presence of Light, darkness has no cover and just cannot be. That’s a good word! John goes on to say that those of us who claim to be in God’s family must live where He lives; in the Light. That makes sense. Of course God, our loving Heavenly Father, would want His children to live a life close to Him, full of His goodness and blessing! He’s that good, and we’re that blessed!
In chapters two and three, John reminds us that living in the Light takes practice. As it turns out, our sinful humanity actually prefers the dark and has to be taught a new way. As believers, we realize we were made for Light-living and commit our whole selves to it, but are and always will be contaminated by a love for the dark. The struggle is very real. All the time, in every moment, our commitment to the Light and our appetite for the dark are at odds. Faith and fear cannot share space in our heart.
In chapter four, John lays out the transcendental truth that God loves us. Before us, He loved us, and in spite of us, He loves us. In response to knowing His powerful, beautiful love for us, we can’t help but love Him back. This is most obviously evidenced by how we love others. Loving God back, in our relationship with Him and with others, means we are living, as children of God should be, in the Light. Over time, this response living becomes more and more a habit. The blessings of Light-living become more and more our normal practice and consequence. We slowly lose our love for the darkness, because we have allowed ourselves to be wooed by the Light. Yes!
Wrapping up in chapter five, John reminds us that living in the Light, in response to God’s love, is a process taking time, but is a sure thing. Light-living promises victory and confidence in our struggle with sin and our testimony of eternal life. Darkness might never go away, but we never have to fear it or give in to it.
Taking all this in, I guess it makes sense that the darkness, physical or spiritual, would be a scary place. Darkness makes us realize our inabilities and failings, how we are not like God and, left to ourselves, cannot be with God. In the dark, we are to realize we’ve made a terrible mess. We have to come to terms with the fact that trusting ourselves instead of God is arrogant and dangerous, for us and for those we love. That’s a big deal.
So what does all this light and dark business have to do with us as mommas?
Well, let me ask you — Have you ever lost your temper with your kids? Yep. Then you know the “Mommy Monster.” You know the struggle of being a child of the Light who gets lost in the dark.
Let’s unpack this to make the connection.
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God! 1 John 3:1
God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5
We love, because He first loved us. 1 John 4:18
If you have trusted Jesus as Savior and Lord, you are a child of God! You are fully loved and freed and are welcomed and accountable to live in all the blessing and goodness of His Light! Darkness exists, but you no longer have to be vulnerable to it. Life is brand new for you, defined by love, and characterized by peace and joy!
…The darkness has blinded his eyes. 1 John 2:11
Plain and simple, you’re suffering from temporary blindness. Darkness has covered your eyes to the actual truth and you’re living by perceived truth, which is actually a lie. Not being able to see is a dramatic problem. If we can’t see, we don’t know where we are, what to do, or what’s coming up next. This lack of control means lack of ability to take care of ourselves and those we love. Being that vulnerable scares us to death and makes us irrational.
Every good momma should most definitely feel a keen sense of responsibility for herself and her family, but even the best mommas are still just humans. At some point, how much we care and our ability to help will run out. It’s inevitable. Perceived truth is that it all depends on us and that we can be everything that is needed. Actual truth is that it does NOT all depend on us and we will NEVER EVER be enough to meet every need. God is the ONLY ONE who can be that. GOD, not us!
So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:25
As believers, we have two active identities – our Jesus nature and our Sin nature. Jesus loves us too much to let us die and Sin hates us too much to let us live. Every day, one or the other grows stronger in us – faith in Him or faith in self. Unfortunately, some days, sin wins and we find ourselves deceived into forsaking the Light and slipping away into the dark, only to end up lost.
For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. Romans 7:15
Most often, the darkness scares us and we react. We know we’re out of line. We’re somewhere we shouldn’t be, doing something we shouldn’t be doing, making more and more of a mess of things. But for some reason we still can’t let go of the lie that we can fix it. If we’d just lean in on our kids a little more we can ‘make them’ cooperate and ‘be’ right. Oh its a mess! The emotional, selfish, ridiculous “Mommy Monster” starts to rage and, if left unbridled, is soon spewing death and destruction all over the place. It’s awful.
But that doesn’t have to be how it goes!
Thus says God the Lord…I am the Lord…I will appoint (My Servant – Jesus the Messiah) as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon, and those who dwell in darkness from the prison. Isaiah 42:5-7
Then Jesus spoke again to them saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8:12
Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:12-14
Cease striving, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? Psalm 27:1
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all…if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:5-7
Momma friends, the “Mommy Monster” never has to be! We and our families can be set free from it. The truth is, God is Light and there is no darkness in Him. Know He loves you and you’ve been created to love Him back.
Learn what it is to live in Him, in the Light, and start to practice that new way of living. Take note as a new heart begins to grow in you. Realize He is who it all depends on, and He is faithful. With your confidence settled fully on Him, you are never vulnerable to your own failings or victim to your own fears. You will be free to love Him and to love all those around you, sincerely and intentionally. You will see how He is your source and your guard. On all sides you will be hemmed in, and in every moment you will know plenty. There will be no darkness, no monster, no fear, no lack. There will be only Light and Love.
No more monster in the dark momma friends! Be free!