Would You Rather Hide in the Dark or Show Up in the Light?

When It’s Too Light

I turn out the lights again in the guest bedroom. I’m testing it a third time.

Another failure.

There’s still too much light.

I want it dark. As dark as I can get it.

I’ve tried pulling the blinds lower, the curtains tighter. But light still makes it through.

I’ve already spent two nights in this beach condo waking up almost every hour, thinking it is morning because the light is streaming through the blinds so brightly.

But it isn’t the sun I am sensing. It is only the bright lightbulb in the hallway right outside my window, making my brain think it is morning.

I need the darkness so I can rest.

Hide in the Dark

Nothing is wrong with wanting it to be dark when we sleep.

But what about when we want to hide in the dark as a coverup in the day? When we don’t want others to know what we’re really thinking? What we’re really doing?

There are things we don’t want others to see.

  • Our flaws
  • Our resentments
  • Our doubts
  • Our anger
  • Our greed
  • Our failures
  • Our laziness
  • Our pride

To keep our false image alive, we think we need to keep the negatives hidden in the dark.

But no matter how dark we try to make it, we still can’t block out all the light.

Because light can’t be overcome by darkness.

God is pure light.

And God is everywhere.

Show Up in the Light

These week’s memory verses for me are 1 John 1:5-6:

5 This is the message we heard from Christ and are reporting to you: God is light, and there isn’t any darkness in him.
6 If we say, “We have a relationship with God” and yet live in the dark, we’re lying. We aren’t being truthful.

If I want the best relationship with God I can have, I need to be authentic. I need to show up in the light.

I can step into full light with God. I can be authentic with God because he knows all of me anyway. He loves all of me anyway.

A healthy relationship is a genuine relationship. I can have that with God. I can have that with others. I don’t have to hide behind toxic positivity or a flawless facade. 

On the third night at the condo, I find a set of extra sheets in the closet. I thread them over the top of the curtain rod. I tuck in the ends tight. I clothespin the edges of the curtains together. I stuff an extra towel at the base to create a seal. 

I flip the light switch to off.

Rest in the Light

In the end, it wasn’t really total darkness I was seeking: It was just rest.

I thought darkness would bring rest.

But it is God, the Light, who brings lasting rest.

Even now, I’m still tempted to slip in and out of dark coverups to find security when I feel vulnerable.

But extra sheeets over curtain rods doesn’t really do it. Instead, it’s in the light of God that I find the most acceptance. The most peace.

And the most rest.

On the third night, I sleep at last.

Share your thoughts in the comments.

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21 thoughts on “Would You Rather Hide in the Dark or Show Up in the Light?

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I am so grateful for his light, too, Martha! Even though it’s a cloudy day here in Alabama, I am still aware that the sun/Son is out there giving us what we need.

  1. Lynn D. Morrissey

    What a beautiful analogy, Lisa, and I love that makeshift curtain you made. My husband and I can’t stand to have a nightlight. But you are right: We dare not pull down soul shades. And God’s light will penetrate them anyway. I wrote in the same vein about wearing masks. They are a good think during a pandemic, but not-so if we hind sinful souls behind the invisible ones we wear. Here’s to light shining in soul’s dark crevices. Here’s to unmasking our souls.

    Thank you as always for such rich sharing!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      “soul shades” – your way with words always moves me, Lynn. I definitely don’t want to keep the soul shades pulled down. Even though that sometimes feels like a self-protective measure, it’s not. And yes, the mask analogy is another fitting example!


    Since last year …the words genuine and authentic kept coming back to me over and over. I feel that being transparent and vulnerable in friendships and relationships matters. But even more so in our walk with God and in our witness.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Those words (genuine and authentic) keep resounding in my soul too. Being vulnerable isn’t always my strong suit; I can keep quiet pretty naturally. But living in the light means taking certain risks of being seen, so it is worth it.

  3. Barbara Harper

    Our church is reading through Joshua and just finished the chapter about Achan, who hid things he wasn’t supposed to have and cost Israel 36 soldiers and a severe loss in the next battle. It struck me that the things we hide can affect our future victories in our walk with the Lord. Sometimes it’s painful to bring things to light, but that’s they only way to effectively deal with them. Thankfully, God’s light is warm and welcoming.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      What an applicable story to share for this, Barbara! Our hidden things come with a price, even when we don’t think they will. And yes, so thankful that God’s light isn’t harsh or blinding but is warm and welcoming.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      This reminds me of the emperor’s new clothing in a reverse way. We may think we are hiding things, but often others know anyway. You’re right that there truly is nowhere to hide, especially from God. That’s a good thing! I’m glad he knows and loves us through it all.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Ashley. My daughter gave me a headphones/sleep mask for Christmas. I take it with me when I travel now to keep out the light. It’s been a lifesaver. But I’m also discovering that I don’t need complete darkness either. A little light creeping in can be a good thing. 🙂

  4. NAnn

    This is how I see it – everyone will be in The Kingdom because they choose to be there. A condition of that choice is to agree to be transformed into the image of Christ Jesus, leaving our worldly self behind. When we walk in obedience, we have nothing to hide. We usually are hiding our not-so-perfect self . . . like fig leaves in the garden. The more we submit to Holy Spirit changing us, we more we stop fearing the light. Darkness loses its power over us.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      This is true: “We usually are hiding our not-so-perfect self . . . like fig leaves in the garden.” It comes naturally to us to want to hide behind the fig leaves, but I agree that submitting to the Holy Spirit will help us lose our fear of being seen.

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