“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41: 10).
“Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness will cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee." (Psalms 139: 7-12). (My emphasis).
“In this world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
The greatest illusion we experience, on this physical plane of thought, is the belief that we are alone within ourselves—alone in our very own physical body and very own physical mind. This appears to mean, that in both body and mind, (our entire being) we are separated from God, our divine source and origin. This belief, accompanied by its illusion of abandonment and isolation, causes us to live in discordant ways which produce, in our daily lives, all manner of unreal trials and tribulation. Then we fight our own evils, any way it comes to us to fight them.
In our false sense of aloneness, these perpetual discords drive us to seek all remedies in the material realm. This dynamic occurs despite Christ Jesus' declaration, “...the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17: 21;). This declaration points to an invisible kingdom, and existence, also addressed by Paul the Apostle, when he said, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being;” (Acts 17: 28 to 1st ;). Everything that the Master and his disciples taught attempted to turn us to this spiritual dimension within our own consciousness, and away from the material illusion of reality—thus, seeking our remedies for the ills of the human condition in the spiritual dimension, where God's Intelligence, Wisdom, Love and Law maintains the divine harmony for all, including each one of us.
At no time are we more vulnerable to the human sense of isolation and loneliness than in the dead of night. The darkness moves us into the isolation of a physical body and mind, like a turtle drawing within its shell. Whether physically alone at night in a home, or feeling alone merely because everyone else around us is sleeping, the subtle sense of aloneness can creep in, highlighting our fears and problems of the day. Many people experience insomnia when this occurs; the mesmerism and tension won't let us sleep. In these dark times of thought, we desperately need a loving sense of protection and remedies for our problems, above and beyond what we, ourselves, are capable of producing. We need to develop a spiritual sense of life, to lift our spirits above the fears produced by the illusion of isolation.
Our young granddaughter came to visit last week. She brought her sleeping bag with her, because she likes to “camp out” on our bedroom floor. (This establishes the fact that she's not intending to sleep in any room, alone.)
During the first couple of nights, it was rather stormy, and she would awake and ask if she could cuddle with me. She said the noise of the thunder scared her. Since she was already lying in her sleeping bag, only a few feet away from our bed, I knew it was more than noise that bothered her. Besides, the noise wasn't really loud—it was the low rumblings of distant thunder. The rain was coming but hadn't yet arrived.
As she crept into our bed, I noticed that she didn't get in on my side and cuddle; instead, she crawled over me so she could sleep in the middle, between her grandfather and me. Within a minute or two, she was peacefully asleep, with no cuddle needed. Getting to the middle of our big bed was all she'd apparently wanted. Suddenly, I remembered myself as a young girl, and I realized that I'd done the same thing. Whenever feeling lonely or afraid in the darkness and quiet of the night, I would crawl into my parents bed and sleep between them, This seems to have been a common occurrence with young children, all through the ages.
Now, I'm always looking for the symbolism behind human words and action, so I pondered this scenario which my granddaughter had just re-enacted. And it wasn't too hard to see some symbolism at play here. Perhaps the thunder represents the myriad, unexplainable threats to well-being that the material world presents to young children. Add to these threats a child's sense of vulnerability and powerlessness in an adult world, and then throw in the darkness of the night (which produces a particularly strong sense of isolation with the young) and the child will run to the adults for protection, against all these pursuing fears. Crawling in bed between a male and female adult, provides the young with two, strongly perceived, walls of protection—on one side, the protection of the male adult, with his strength and warrior skills; and on the other side, the protection of the female adult, with her mothering and comforting skills. These two adults are the material walls of protection which children would naturally seek, in a physical environment.
As we all grow out of early childhood, however, many of our fears disappear into an understanding of the material environment. We realize that the rumbling noise of thunder is harmless, whereas, the electrical charge of lightening can be dangerous when striking someone or something. Thus, with knowledge and understanding of how the material realm works, we have 'sorted' our thoughts and beliefs into a more accurate picture, allowing us to control much of our own safety. The world needs fewer walls to protect us, because we're no longer as young, nor as powerless to take evasive action from threatening situations, as we were before.
Yet, even in our more enlightened, adult view of the material scene, we can still get scared and lonely at night. The dark, itself, symbolizes the realm of hidden things that can strike without detection. In fact, “knowing” the dangers that may lurk in the dark can make us more afraid. The darkness of the night, without the light which makes us see further and clearer, presents, even to adults, that predictable sense of isolation that leaves only with the sunrise. Many people who routinely awaken in the middle of the night often feel a deep loneliness descend over them. In the dead of night, the whole world seems to be unconscious in sleep, and thus, inaccessible to us, if needed. To remedy this false sense of aloneness, some turn on the radio for company; some turn on the TV. In these ways, just connecting with those who are awake through the media can be a help.
The need for protection against the dangers of material existence, however, doesn't always have to be fought on the physical level. There is an entire spiritual realm of existence, that when turned to and understood, provides protection against human threats. Despite the physical discords around us, spiritual law and power are present to protect us against all the dangers of this material condition (plane of thought). In other words, there are spiritual walls of protection we can build, that are far more efficient and long-lasting that our physical remedies. When finding these spiritual walls, even the darkness of human fear doesn't overwhelm us; neither does the false sense of aloneness at night overwhelm us. Spiritual truth becomes the only light we need, to overcome a sense of isolation, fear, and any dangerous activity we are fearing.
Here's an example of something I experienced on this very subject: While in my early fifties, my husband traveled to the east coast a few times on business. When he was gone, staying alone at night was particularly scary to me. It was scary because there was a certain amount of crime in the city going on during the summer months, where women, living alone, had been assaulted in the night—and we were now living in a new house that wasn't so familiar to me. So, needless to say, I had trouble falling asleep at night, and the house noises bothered me. Finally, I knew I had to conquer my fear of the dark...both the darkness of the night, which hid such crimes, and the darkness of human fear, which hid the sovereign, protecting government of God. All creation was still at one with its source and divine authority over all; in the harmonious, yet, invisible, heavenly kingdom of God, (not the material scene) no crimes were allowed to take place.
Although tempted to turn on the television for company and some comfort, I decided to pray instead. It wasn't that the television wouldn't divert my fears; it was just that I wanted a lasting solution. I asked God, the divine presence dwelling within the consciousness of each of us, to make that divine, loving presence known to me, in a material, human way. I specifically wanted some of the material darkness to leave—it looked so black outside in my new neighborhood, which had few houses as yet, and fewer street lights. I didn't expect any miraculous occurrence; I just needed a sign to let me know I wasn't alone. I needed that peaceful sense to assure me that divine Spirit, God, truly was present with me—within my true consciousness, and therefore, within the material dimension (where I seemed to dwell) also. Spirit fills all space, I reminded myself, and so Spirit could bring me the material sign or sense of God's presence I needed, no matter where I was.
Then I trusted that my prayer would be answered. I knew that a loving, Father/Mother God, would never leave Its children without comfort. I didn't know HOW it would be answered; I only knew, from past trusting, that it would. (I also knew that trust in the spiritual truths is necessary to bring about a material change in the outer world of form; so, I could only expect a remedy IF I trusted.)
I felt a little better, immediately, because my thoughts had left the physical assessment of things and were soaring, just a bit, in the spiritual realm. Realizing that God was always present with me, the fear of violence left me. Suddenly, a light began to shine brightly though the dark window. It was like a soft-glowing spotlight, and I knew it was my sign! Excitedly, I rushed to the window, and found that it was only the moonlight. Yet, I felt this was the sign. A full moon had moved across the sky to where it's light was now streaming into my bedroom window. Almost the whole night through, my bedroom was gently lit up. As I said, the house was new to me, so I didn't expect it. But here's the astonishing thing: since that time, the moonlight has never come, again, through that particular bedroom window. The moon has moved across the sky the same, but the light is never at the angle of our window to repeat the steady glow that appeared in my room that night.
I'm aware of the 'supernatural' tag that could be put on this account; but I don't believe any phenomenon in creation is supernatural, when God is involved. I believe that since we're all spiritually still connected to God, our Source, (however much we seem to be disconnected by physicality), whatever good and necessary thing we need—and trust in God to deliver—comes into our experience in some way, or some manner, no matter who we are, where we are, or how supernatural it seems. God answers our prayers, whenever we reach out our hand and keep it there, waiting for the remedy. We don't have to earn God's love; God loves us, no matter who we believe ourselves to be, and no matter what we've done or haven't done. This divine love is unconditional, recognizing that our human wrong-doings are delusional, committed while under the belief of isolation from our heavenly Home. When we turn from any wrong-doing, back to the will of divine Love, we need never feel undeserving, because He “...sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5: 45). It's safe to trust in the permanence of God's love.
One thing to mention: When using the word “I” in many statements, such as“I” have overcome the world” (John 16: 33 above), Christ Jesus was most likely referring to his spiritually-real Self, rather than the materially-unreal self. He was pointing to the spiritual “I” of everyone's being, and the universal fact of such an existence. The real “I” of his spiritual selfhood (not the physical form or identity) was still at one with his spiritual source and origin, the Father/Mother of the universe. Thus, as the example he was always trying to be for us, he was showing us our real, spiritual Selves. By showing us his real Self and our real selves, he then demonstrated how this awakening healed our diseases, reformed evil dispositions, and even raised the physically dead. Know and see our true selfhood; it was still at one with its spiritual source and origin—God. We're never alone, nor left to our own devices. But we must acknowledge that fact, or we'll never turn to God's presence and power with expectation. We will miss the divine remedy, which was ready to spring forth upon our call.
If the Christ identity were not universal, Jesus' experiences would have nothing to do with us. Actually, his preaching, teaching and way-showing would have been irrelevant to humanity, if it were not for the fact that he knew something about all of us that humankind didn't perceive. He often demonstrated, with what has been called miracles, that the Creator is never separated from Its universe, or from any dimension; thus, its creatures are never separated from the Creator. When we are told by the Master to “be of good cheer” because of the “I” of his being, he was pointing us toward finding the true “I” of our own being, body, soul, and mind, which also 'overcomes the world' (finds the remedy). It's within this true identity, our own Christ identity, that our remedies exist forever...not just a temporary fix.
From that time of my 'special' moonlight, I've remembered that “if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there” and “the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” (See full quotation at beginning of article.) One other “perk” has come to me from that experience: I still awaken in the middle of the night, frequently; but I no longer view it as a bad thing. In fact, I consider it a blessing—because all is quiet with the world, and I can meditate on spiritual things without interruption. Some of my best healing results have come from the meditations in the middle of the night.
One of the things I often do is declare the truth of being for everyone who might be afraid, in the dark of night. I see God's light (truth) shining on them all, like 'my' special moonlight through the window, declaring Spirit's presence, and knowing that divine Love is speaking Its comforting thoughts to them. And if God's presence is still with them, then God's authority and power are also with them, and all of us, to keep us safe from all harm. Usually, after turning to these spiritual things, I fall back asleep easily, feeling God's walls of protection on all sides. These sheltering walls are there for all.