“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” – John 1:4
Long ago in the days before cell phones, my sister and I sat on the roadside in a broken down car. It was dark. I felt scared. And I’m pretty sure we prayed. Somehow the car re-started, so we gratefully continued on our travels. Because of the beaming headlights, we could clearly regard the road ahead. What a difference light makes! If the engine had revved up again but those bulbs had remained dark, we wouldn’t have progressed very far. Thankfully everything regained working order and we safely arrived at our destination–even without a cell phone call!
Scripture states that the life within Jesus Christ became light for men. In other words, the intrinsic life He possesses illuminates us spiritually–it reveals truth about and to us. Though formerly we existed in darkness, through Christ we can experience eternal life, the treasure of knowing God (see John 17:3). What’s more, the light Jesus shines wasn’t created–it emanates from Him. He IS the light.
Can you imagine if Jesus hadn’t come? If we were left stranded in the dark? As my grandmother used to enunciate, “Praise God for God!” He didn’t abandon us in the blackness of our sin and sorrow. He sent Jesus, the Light of the world, who opens our eyes. We don’t have to fearfully, tentatively proceed through life because we can’t see clearly ahead. In Jesus’ light, we can joyfully embrace the life He gives and walk the path He reveals.
But sometimes we stay in the shadows. Fear, guilt, shame, and anger form several reasons we shrink back from His light. When that occurs, we stay stuck on life’s journey just like my sister and I were stuck on the roadside. Instead of allowing Jesus’ life within us to light the way and move us forward, we refuse to budge. We don’t want to see … we don’t want to know … because sometimes the truth is ugly.
My New Year’s prayer for 2013 was “Lord, open my eyes,” which leads me to wonder where He will probe. The thought alone incites fear. But His life within me presses me forward ever so gently. I need to see … I need to know … so I can change. And when I allow Christ’s light to expose the broken places in my heart, His cleansing touch will cast His brilliant beauty through the crevices.
Dear friend, what aspect of your life lingers in the shadows? Please join me in asking Jesus to shine the light of His life into the darkness …
For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness, is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves.” – 2 Corinthians 4:6-7