The night is darkest just before the dawn.
I've heard this many times in my life. It's not actually true though. Reason tells us as much. It is actually the darkest part of the night halfway between sunset and sunrise as the sun is at its furthest point on the other side of the earth. On the other hand, the hour just before dawn is the coldest part of the day.
Because I believe in God, I believe there is spiritual symbolism in every aspect of our lives. If we look for these symbolic meanings, we place ourselves in a position to be taught many great and important truths that will guide us and lead us closer to our Creator.
I have close family members and friends who have chosen very difficult roads. Some have been filled with alcoholism, drug addiction, pornography addiction, adultery, different forms of abuse: verbal, physical, emotional, sexual. Not one of us goes through this life unscathed by these or other serious sinful and destructive behaviors. There may be some of us who choose not to go down these paths, but we will love someone who will. It can be so devastating.
As I think back on the ones I love who have been down these roads I find the significance of the previous information. I've also heard the saying: You have to hit bottom before you can climb back out. That is true. That suggests a halfway point, just like the darkest part of the night. As soon as we take that first step down a path of sinful behavior we've stepped into the darkness of night. We cut ourselves off from God. God never leaves us. We leave him. It is our choice. Not His.
Somehow the night just gets darker and darker, slowly, one moment at a time. Before we know it, the sun has long set and we are in a dark, dark place. It can be frightening and lonely. We realize we are lost and those who encouraged us to take that step into the darkness have abandoned us. We are alone. That is when the night is the darkest. It is when we finally realize we are in a place we don't want to be and we want to change. And just then, when we call out for help, realizing we can't do it by ourselves, time begins to move forward again and we progress into the second part of the night towards dawn.
The journey towards dawn is difficult. It gets colder as the night goes by. The path of repentance is not easy, but it is worth it. Lucifer, that evil serpent, the one who walked with us side by side the first half of the night is now against us. He places hurdles in our way and makes us believe that everyone is against us. He gives it his all and uses all his might. He confuses us and uses our fear to hold us back. We can't give up here. The dawn is near at this point. This is when it is the coldest. Don't give up. Don't lay down in the cold and freeze before the journey is through. That is what that slimy serpent wants.
There is something he wants us to forget:
The first step in sin is a step into the night. The first step in repentance is a step towards the light. As soon as we step towards the light he loses his ability to control or manipulate us. We gain the ability to fight him and to win the battles against him. He only has the power to bruise our heal, but we have the power to crush his head. We have mortal bodies. That is something he does not, nor will ever, have.
As soon as we begin to have faith again, the dawn comes nearer. When our faith is strong; when our path of repentance is complete, the dawn will come. We can't let anything block our path of repentance. It is so worth it to keep going. We should never give up. We just need to look to the dawn, for that is where true joy and happiness are. Plus... the light of day is so much nicer than the dark of the night.