What Does it Mean to Love the Darkness?

It is easy to love the light, but how can you come to love the darkness? We know that darkness is the absence of light and it comes only when everything else has gone.  Darkness is moments of loss, emptiness, struggle, adversity, pain, loneliness, and nothingness.

Mother Teresa once shared how she came to realize the reality of darkness. She wrote:

“When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven, there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives and hurt my very soul. Love — the word — it brings nothing. I am told God loves me — and yet the reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul…. In spite of all — this darkness and emptiness is not as painful as the longing for God…” 

We can definitely agree with her — nothing can be as painful as the longing for God.  But what did she find in those murky hours of her ministry that would finally cause her to love the total absence of light?

Eventually she wrote: “I have come to love the darkness. For I believe that it is a part, a very small part of Jesus’ darkness and pain on earth.”

The verses below describes how Mother Teresa shared the agony of Christ Jesus throughout her ministry helping the poorest of the poor. 

1 Peter 3:18 | NIV

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.  

1 Peter 2:24 | NIV

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”  

Most days I study God’s word in the morning and then meditate on them for a time, loving Him, talking to Him, and even singing worship songs with heartfelt adoration. But sometimes, when pain comes and darkness tries to dim the light in my soul [the secret-self], then there is no movement and I find myself getting down and quiet. Yet deep down somewhere in my soul the longing for God keeps breaking through the darkness, reminding me what God has done for me. I am reminded of all His blessings in my life and am assured that the light at the end of the tunnel is not an illusion.  Those painful moments through the dark tunnel are part of the process which gets me to the light found in repentance, and the love inherent in salvation.

When you find yourself “in the days of pain”, feeling that your spirit is floating down into that dark and motionless tunnel, you may want to consider it as a blessing. For your stillness may lead to repentance; which will strengthen your mind, body, and soul.    

In [Isaiah 30:15] this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. 

The bottom line is: our pain is part of the plan whether we like it or not. As we stop resenting our circumstances and quietly wait for God’s answers, we will come to realize that, as much as we think of “darkness” as moments of emptiness, loneliness, and nothingness… Yet it’s everything.

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