John declares in his letter: This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)
Yet we are also told: The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was. (Exodus 20:21)
Is He light with no darkness or can He also be in darkness? The answer is yes. His character is that of absolute purity, never stained by even a tinge of the darkness of sin or moral corruption. His light shines in the darkness and the darkness of this world cannot overcome it or extinguish it. (John 1:5)
Yet He also is in the dark places. Moses walked into the dark cloud of His fiery presence on top of the mountain. He walked into darkness while the people remained distant. Other saints have walked into the darkest of times or places of obedience with fear and trembling only to find that God was there. He does not avoid the darkness but shines in the midst of it. He is the disperser of darkness. But we will never know that unless we walk into the thick darkness where He is.
As new believers we crave the joy, the peace, the energy-giving nature of light. Burdens are lifted and lightness has come. It is like watching the newborn devouring a bottle. There is an abandonment to it. And we experience the abandonment of absolute love for Jesus.
And then He leads us into a place of darkness, where another remnant of sin needs dispersed in us, or a hard lesson of obedience needs learned, or He has need of a servant to bring light to a dark place. Suddenly we don't feel light, or we doubt the light. It seems like the darkness is thick. Where is He? Once I viewed His gleaming face. Now I wonder if I know much about Him. That is the moment for us to walk into the thick darkness, take up our cross and follow. And we will find He is there.
And on the far side, we will walk in greater light than ever before.