I'M SCARED—OF THE DARK!

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WELL; Dark can't hurt anybody, so what you really mean is that you are afraid there might be BAD THINGS in the dark, that you can't see, that could hurt you. You may have seen pictures in movies and on TV that have scared you, BUT THOSE THINGS ARE JUST LIES!

HERE IS A PROMISE FROM JESUS:

"Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." Luke 10:19

AND HERE IS ANOTHER ONE:

"The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them." Psalm 34:7

AND EVEN MORE!

 "When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet." Proverbs 3:24

"I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8

YOU HAVE A MIGHTY ANGEL OF GOD WITH YOU;
NOTHING CAN HURT YOU !

HERE ARE SOME STORIES ABOUT BEING AFRAID IN THE DARK—

 

CONQUERING FEAR:

Never Afraid Again!

 What can be the matter with Joan?" Mother said to herself as she went downstairs after putting her little girl to bed. "The poor child seems to be afraid to be left alone a single minute."

She settled herself comfortably in an armchair and picked up a book to read. But hardly had she read a paragraph before she heard Joan's voice calling again. "

 "Mamma, mamma!"

"What is it now, dear?" Mother called back.

"Mamma, Mamma, come here!" cried Joan, as though she were in terrible trouble. Mother put her book on the table and began climbing the stairs.

"Now what is it, Joan?" she asked, as she came up.

"You turned the light out in the hall," cried Joan, "and it's all dark in here." 

"I'm sorry," said Mother. "I'll turn it on again; but go to sleep, dear. It doesn't really matter whether it is dark or light if we love Jesus. There's no reason to be  afraid of the dark."

" I know," said Joan, " but please turn on the light."

Mother turned on the hall light, kissed Joan good night once more, and went downstairs again to her comfortable chair and her book.

But there was to be no rest for Mamma this night, and certainly no reading of her book. A few moments later she heard Joan again.

"Mamma, Mamma."

"Oh, Joan, what is it now?" she called.

"Mamma, come quick, come quick!"

Mother dropped her book and climbed the stairs again. "Joan, dear," she said, as she went into the bedroom, "what is the matter with you? Why don't you go to sleep? All the other boys and girls in the whole town are fast asleep by now."

"Mamma," cried Joan, shaking all over with fear, "look over there!"

 "Over where?" asked Mother.

"Over there by the chimney. I'm sure I saw a hobgoblin, and it came walking toward my bed!"

"Hobgoblin fiddlesticks!" cried Mother. "There isn't such a thing as a hobgoblin, and never was. Who has been telling you such foolish stories?" 

"Ah, but there are hobgoblins," said Joan solemnly. "Eva May told me." 

"Eva May!" exclaimed Mother in great indignation. "A little girl of nine telling you such things! Just wait till I see her mother. But what else did she tell you?" 

"She said that if I wasn't a good girl, the hobgoblins would come down the chimney at night and get me."

"How stupid!" cried Mother. "And what else?"

"She told me that maybe a great big bear would crawl in through the window in the dark and creep under my bed and gobble me up before the morning." 

"But there isn't a bear within a hundred miles, Joan," cried Mother. "And how could a bear climb up this house and get in that window? It is all too silly for words." 

But Joan wasn't quite sure about it. Who was right? Mother or Eva May? Her friend was such a big girl, and seemed to know everything. Joan was quiet for a long time, thinking it over. 

"Now, Joan," said Mother, "try not to think of these things again. They are not true and couldn't be true; and it is foolish to fear things that don't exist. Why be afraid of shadows?" Joan, still pale and trembling, put her curly head down on the pillow again.

"I wish they wouldn't come here any more," she said.

"They won't," said Mother, gently stroking the poor, troubled little head. "Don't worry any more, dear. And if you are afraid again, just tell Jesus about it. And remember, Joan, you have a guardian angel too. Jesus has told him to watch over you, and he won't let any horrid things come near you at night" 

"I know," said Joan. "I have told Jesus about it over and over again, but somehow it doesn't make any difference. I still seem to see them coming to me."

"Well, Joan dear, tell Him again. Indeed, we will both tell Him right now.

So Mother prayed a beautiful prayer, asking Jesus to protect little Joan from all harm and danger, and to help her forget the foolish stories she had heard. She prayed, too, that Joan might realize that her guardian angel was near at hand at all times, both day and night; and that she might learn to trust and not be afraid.

Just then the telephone rang, and Mother went downstairs to answer it By and by she carne to the bottom of the stairs and called up to Joan.

"Mrs. Jones wants me to come over to see her for a few minutes; she says it's very important. Will you be all right while I go? I won't be very long."

"All right," called Joan. "But don't be long, Mamma."

"I won't", said mother, "I'll be back in just a minute"

Then silence fell in the house, and Joan lay in her little bed, still thinking over all that her mother had said; and every time the old, ugly thoughts tried to come back, she would pray ever so hard and try to believe that everything was really all right.

And then something very wonderful happened. (I know it happened, because not only did Joan's mother tell me about it but Joan herself wrote and described it all, and I have her letter beside me as I write.)

 Suddenly a beautiful light shone in the room, and Joan saw a glorious being standing close by her bed. A lovely face smiled down at her, as though saying to her, "Little girl, don't be afraid."

 For an instant Joan became cold with fear, but as she looked at that shining figure, so radiant and so kindly, a wonderful peace and quietness came over her little soul.

It was all over in a very little while, and soon the light faded and the glorious being vanished from sight. But from that moment everything was different.

Not long after that, Mother returned. As soon as she entered the house she heard Joan calling her. "

 "Mamma, Mamma."

But there was a new note in Joan's voice. Mother noticed it at once. This was not the voice of someone afraid, but of someone with joy and gladness in her heart.

"Mamma!" cried Joan, as Mother entered the room. "Jesus has been here, or my guardian angel. Really, Mamma. He stood just there, close to my bed."

And then Joan told Mother all about the glorious being she had seen and the beautiful light that had shone in her room. And Mother knew from the look on Joan's face, all aglow with happiness, that what she said was true.

Joan is not a little girl any more. She is grown up now. But not for a single moment has she forgotten what happened on that wonderful night long, long ago, when she was only five years old. All her life she has loved Jesus, and, as she told me herself, she was never afraid again.

   

SONGS IN THE DARKNESS

It was wartime. Bombs had been falling on the city. Many people had been hurt, and some killed, and a great number of houses had been blown to pieces.

Hospitals were crowded with the injured, and the doctors and nurses were busier than they had ever been in all their lives.

Then one chilly winter morning a strange thing happened.

It was very early, between five and six o'clock, and just getting light. A nurse, walking out of a certain big hospital, saw what looked like a bundle of clothes on the steps. Stooping to look at it more closely, she saw that under all the wraps there was a little boy! He could not have been more than four years of age, and as his sad brown eyes looked up into hers, her heart was touched.

"What are you doing here at this time in the morning?" she asked kindly. The little boy did not reply, but pointed to a piece of paper pinned to his coat. The nurse unpinned it and began to read:

"My name is Georgie. I am not quite four years old. My mamma is dead. My grandma is dead. Please look after me." 

"Oh, you poor little thing!" said the nurse, picking Georgie up in her arms and hugging him close. "But whatever shall we do with you?"

Marching up the steps with her strange bundle, the nurse went back into the hospital and tried to find out what should be done with Georgie.

The other nurses felt very sorry for him and wanted to do all they could to help, but the busy doctors said there wasn't time to spend on a case like this just now. He should be sent to an orphanage as soon as possible.

But the nurse who had found Georgie on the steps did not want him to go away so soon. She wanted to do something for him herself. So she hunted all around the wards to see whether there was some little corner where Georgie could be put without his being in the way or being noticed too much.

She searched and searched, but every place was full. At last, however, she came to the section of the women's ward where all the elderly women were cared for, and there she found a place just big enough to hold a tiny cot for Georgie.

Naturally the old people were very much interested in the little boy who had been put in with them. They rather liked the idea, for it gave them something new to talk about. Then, too, Georgie was very good and quiet and didn't bother them, as some had been afraid he would.

The first night Georgie was in the women's ward the nurse who had found him came to tuck him in and bid him good night. As she was doing so, Georgie spoke to her..

"Me want to say my prayers," he said, looking up solemnly into her face.

The nurse was surprised. How, she wondered, did a little boy like this, barely four years of age, left destitute on the hospital steps, know anything about saying his prayers? He must have had a good mother, and a good grandmother.

"All right, dear," she said. "You may say your prayers if you wish. How shall we begin?"

"Shut your eyes," said little Georgie.

The nurse smiled, but obeyed.

"Put your hands together," said Georgie, and again the nurse did what she was told.

"Now we are ready,'" said Georgie, and he began to pray.

This was his little prayer, just as he prayed it:

"Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me,

Bless Thy little lamb tonight.

Froo the darkness be Thou near me,

Keep me safe till mornin' light. Amen."

Georgie opened his eyes just in time to see the nurse bending down to kiss him.

"Me sing that in the mornin'," he said.

"All right, dear," said the nurse. "You shall"

And in the morning Georgie began to sing his prayer. He sang it on and off all day, and everybody thought it was very sweet and beautiful.

Then one night the air-raid sirens sounded, and their dreadful wail struck fear into all hearts, though everyone tried to be very brave.

The bombers were coming again, with their grim loads of death and destruction.

All lights were put out, and the ward was very dark indeed. The only light carne from the reflection of the search­lights on the cloudy sky. Soon the bark of the antiaircraft guns could be heard. Bang, bang, bang, bang! This was followed by the distant boom of falling bombs. The raiders were getting nearer and nearer, and the elderly women put their heads under the bed­clothes as though to shut it all away.

Then suddenly there was a terrific noise as a bomb exploded in the courtyard of the hospital. The whole building rocked. Every window was smashed. Even the wooden casings were blown into millions of little pieces which, together with the broken glass, were strewn all over the ward.

The women screamed in fright, and one of them died of heart failure.

Poor little Georgie, who had been asleep when the bomb exploded, woke with a start and began to cry out: "Me want my grandma! Me want my grandma! Somebody light the dark! Somebody light the dark!"

Just then the nurse came running into the ward, and picking her way through all the debris, came at last to Georgie's cot.

"Are you all right, Georgie?" she asked anxiously.

"Me want my grandma!" cried Georgie. "Somebody light the dark!"

The nurse picked him up in her arms and tenderly tried to soothe the poor little boy. Suddenly she had a bright idea.

"Georgie," she whispered, " SIng.”

"Don't want to sing" wailed Georgie. "Somebody light—"

"Yes, Georgie, sing," said the nurse. "Sing. It will help you. It will help everyone."

"What shall I sing?"

"You know. Your little song. Go on. Sing it, Georgie."

Georgie began. In a faint, broken, tearful voice he started to sing:

"Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me,

Bless Thy little lamb tonight.

Froo the darkness be Thou near me,

Keep me safe till mornin' light."

And then a wonderful thing happened.

From away down at the end of that pitch-black ward came the sound of another voice. One of the elderly women had begun to sing too. It was a quavering voice, but it was singing. And it was singing Georgie's song: "Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me.”

And then another quavering voice joined in, and another and another, until all down that ward, in the midst of the darkness and the terror of that dreadful night, everybody was singing the same lovely hymn.

As they sang, Georgie gathered courage and sang louder and louder, while everyone felt better just to hear him sing. It seemed to bring God near.

Over and over again they sang the song until at last the sound of the guns and the bombs faded away and the lights came on again.

What a beautiful thing it was that Georgie did that night! Maybe one day you and I may be able to do something like that too. Singing in the dark! Singing courage and cheer into hearts that are afraid and sad.

No matter how young you are, even if you are as young as little Georgie, you can help to bring happiness to others. That is what the Bible means when it tells us that "a little child shall lead them."  

MORE SONGS IN THE DARK

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Doris, Enid, and Katie were staying at a Christian young people's camp for two or three weeks. One afternoon, on a long hike with a number of other girls, they found they had become separated from the main group. Perhaps they had dawdled or, talking too much, had failed to pay attention to the instructions they had been given. Anyway, here they were, miles from camp, and nobody to tell them which way to go.

"I suppose if we just wait here someone, will come back for us," said Doris. 

"We don't need to wait," said Katie. "I know the way all right. Just follow me and we'll soon be back on the right path again."

Doris and Enid took Katie at her word, but they soon found that she did not know where she was going. "I give up," said Katie. "Perhaps we had better light a fire and the smoke will tell the others where to find us."

"Do we have any matches?" asked Enid.

They didn't.

 "The lady in charge told us the other day, that if we ever got lost we should find a stream and follow it downhill to the nearest house," said Doris.

"Good idea," said the others.

They found a stream and followed it for some distance. Then to their dismay they saw that their way was completely blocked, or so it seemed.

On their left was a cliff, too steep to climb, while on their right was the stream, too deep to cross. Ahead the mountain went right down to the stream, but near the bottom there seemed to be a dark hole in it. They walked closer. There was a hole in it, an old disused railway tunnel.

"I'm not going in there," said Enid.

"Neither am I," said Katie.

"Then what are we going to do?" asked Doris. "We can't go back, for we don't know where to go, and if we stay here we'll freeze when the sun goes down. This tunnel must lead somewhere, and it could take us closer to the camp than we think. I say, let's go ahead."

"Oh no!" cried Enid. "It's too dark and damp in there." 

"Come on!" cried Doris, stepping bravely forward. "Don't be scared. Follow me."

Timidly the other two obeyed.

The walls were slimy, and they could hear water dripping from the roof. As they talked their voices echoed in a strange, uncanny way. For some distance it wasn't totally dark, for light from the entrance shone in quite a long way. But as they walked on, the darkness deepened until at last Enid could stand it no longer.

"I'm going back," she cried, her voice trembling with fear.

"No!" said Doris. "You mustn't. Let's stick together and go ahead. It can't be very far now. See! There is a tiny point of light far ahead. That must be the other end. Let's sing to keep up our courage."

"Sing what?" asked Katie, who felt too scared to whisper.

"The choruses we sing in camp," said Doris. "You know, 'Love Is Shining All Along Our Way,' 'Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,' 'By and By We'll See the King,' and songs like that. I'll  start us off."

 Her voice sounded a little strange in the damp, dark tunnel, but it was wonderfully comforting to Enid and Katie. They joined in, and as they did so, their courage rose and the darkness didn't seem so black. Soon they found themselves walking more quickly, and the far-off point of light seemed to grow bigger and bigger much sooner than they had dared to hope.

They were singing "Wide, Wide as the Ocean" when they found themselves at the end of the tunnel and eagerly stepped out into the sunshine again.

After blinking their eyes for a few seconds, they looked around them for some familiar object that might direct them. Suddenly Doris said, "Do you see what I see?"

"What?" asked the others.

"That flagpole far over to the left. Surely it must be the one at our camp."

It was indeed, and half an hour later they were safely home.

They had sung their way through darkness to light, from fear to peace and happiness. When Doris wrote and told me of her adventure I couldn't I help thinking that it has a beautiful lesson for us all. Sooner or later we all must pass through some tunnel that is dark, damp, cold, and frightening. 

It may be in the form of sickness, loss, or disappointment. But we must never lose heart. Like dear, brave Doris we must sing the lovely songs that tell of our faith in the power and love of Jesus. And singing in the dark, our hearts will be uplifted. New courage and hope will come to us, and sooner than we think, we shall find that we have sung our way into the light.

King David of old sang psalms in the cave of Adullam, and he sang his way to the throne of Israel (see Psalm 57, title, and 1 Samuel 22:1).

Paul and Silas sang in prison until an earthquake set them free (Acts 16:25). 

Jesus sang before He started on His way to the cross and His glorious resurrection (Matthew 26:30). 

No matter how dark your way may be, remember that every tunnel has an end, and that beyond is the warmth of God's sunshine and the eternal joys of His heavenly home. So sing on! Keep singing in the dark!

By the way, I received an email from a relative of one of these very girls and she said how happy she was to see this true story on the TEMKIT site!

SO WHEN YOU ARE AFRAID

REMEMBER—Jesus' watch care over you.

PRAY—and tell Jesus all about it.

ASK JESUS—for your Guardian Angel to stay with you. 

THINK—about how safe you are

SING—songs about Jesus.

NEVER BE AFRAID OF THE DARK AGAIN!

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