Friday, September 23, 2016

DOES THE FUTURE LOOK DARK?


DOES THE FUTURE LOOK DARK?

By Ada Brownell

I've never been afraid of the dark. When I was a kid the darker it was, the better we liked it.

The main reason for that is during the summer my siblings and I played Kick the Can after dark. The game was similar to Hide and Seek, except we set an empty can upside down in the middle of the yard.  The person who was “It” had to count to 100 and then begin searching.

 If the “It” person found us, we could race and kick the can before the person who was “It” could do it.  Then we hid again and the person who was “It” had to count and hunt again. Sometimes we’d sneak around and kick the can even when we hadn’t been found because then the “It” person had to count to 100 again and we’d hide.

I slept outside under the stars with friends during the summer, too. Dark night didn’t scare me. In those days there wasn’t much to be frightened of in the dark, or even the light.

One night, though, while walking to church by myself when I was 12 or 13, I noticed the neighbor who lived across the street stumbling along toward me on the sidewalk, singing. He was drunk! I was halfway between church and home so I decided to walk as quietly as I could on the edge of the sidewalk and perhaps he wouldn’t notice me.

 Instead, when I tiptoed beside him, he shouted, “Boo!”

I shot down the street as his loud laughs echoed all over the neighborhood.  I arrived at church in record time, huffing and puffing.

After I was married, in a little town with no street lights I went out to empty the trash in a fenced pit area. Thought nothing of it because I knew where it was, even in the dark. Just as I dumped the waste basket a cat shot up out of the bin with a loud yowl. I about left my skin there.

Today, however, on occasion reality causes me and many Christians to view the future as a trip into darkness because of fearsome unknowns. We’re told in 2 Timothy 3:1 that in the last days before Christ’s return, perilous times shall come. Jesus even said, “In this world you will have tribulation.”

How should we respond? The answer is to get into God’s Word. God inspired the writers to insert so many promises there. Jesus’s warning in John 16:33 is followed by, “But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.”

Only recently I noticed a scripture that hadn’t caught my attention before, “The Lord said that He would dwell in the thick darkness” (1 Kings 8:12).

Solomon reminded Israel of that during the temple dedication when the presence of God came as a cloud and filled the temple and priests couldn’t even minister. Perhaps some in attendance trembled, scared out of the wits. It was as silly then to be afraid of the dark as it is now. The cloud in the temple was God’s awesome glory and should cause joy instead of fear.

Today if He’s our Lord, we know God is with us—even in the dark. He promised to never leave or forsake (Hebrews 13:5), and we can hold on to that, even when the future seems to look dark and foreboding. God even dwells in the thick darkness!

Copyright Ada Brownell 2016

Ada Brownell, a retired reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain, is the author of seven books, including Peach Blossom Rancher, an historical romance released Aug. 1, 2016, by Elk Lake Publishing. Go to her Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/author/adabrownell