Thursday, March 21, 2013

Total Darkness

The darkness was so thick I couldn’t see my hand in front of my eyes, so thick it felt sinister. Granted, I was only thirteen years old but I will never forget what it felt like.

My parents had taken my three siblings and me on a three week vacation, visiting several state and national parks. One of them was the Lewis & Clark Caverns in Montana, where we opted to take the subterranean tour.

The guide led us deep into the mountain past well-lit scenes of stalactites and stalagmites. When we hit the halfway point we stopped, and he warned us that he was going to turn the lights off for a few seconds. That’s when the darkness struck.

lewis-and-clark-caverns

That total absence of light was disorienting, and the air seemed to thicken and press in. The darkness felt…menacing. The stuff of nightmares, it seemed we all held our breath until the light was switched back on.

I’ve thought a lot about those moments of total darkness, and how it stood in such stark contrast to the light.

That’s exactly what my life felt like with, and without Jesus.

My life independent of Him was full of doubt, insecurity, and missteps. I thought I knew where I was going, but I was really stumbling in the dark. It was a painful, uncertain, and scary time, because I had cut myself off from Jesus, who is the true source of light. Once I realized I really had no idea where I was going in life, I longed to live differently; with meaning, purpose, and direction.

There is clarity only where there is light. Jesus not only brings light, but He is light. He says this about Himself; “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” ( John 8:12) He is what brings life into focus. He is what illuminates the darkness of self-will. He is the one who not only sees me just as I am, but also sees what He wants to make of me.

If I had never walked in darkness, I don’t think I would recognize, or appreciate, the difference.

Darkness or light; we get to choose. I choose Jesus.

You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light.        2 Samuel 22:29

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.                                                                                                                       2 Corinthians 4:6

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

Further reflection:

  1. Has there ever been a time when you felt like life was dark? How would you describe it?
  2. What changed that feeling?
  3. Take a few minutes to consider the truth of 2 Samuel 22:29; “You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light.” Journal the ways that Jesus has brought light into your life.

Father, You are light, and Your word gives light. Thank You that You didn’t leave me in the darkness, but sought to bring me into the light of knowing You. I am so grateful for the clarity that You bring, and the joy of walking with You.

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