By David Soper
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, "I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life." John 8:12
There are few things more frightening than total darkness. In high school, my summer job was giving guided tours of an old copper mine. Near the end of the tour, a half mile or so into the mine tunnel, I would stop and give a demonstration of total darkness. The moment I turned off the lights you could feel the black darkness surround you. It is an intense feeling that literally takes your breath away. All of your senses are immediately on high alert, and even though we were not in any danger, the darkness itself was frightening. Before people would begin to panic (usually), I would turn the light back on and instantly the mood would change. Everyone was relieved to be back in the light.
The presence of light, no matter the source, is a comforting thing. Light reveals our surroundings. Light reveals beauty, light also reveals pitfalls and dangers. Light, even a small amount, penetrates the darkness so that we can find our way to safety or feel the comfort of knowing what is around us. It is no wonder that Jesus said, "I am the light of the world." Just as light illuminates things in the natural realm, Jesus illuminates things in the spiritual realm. He is the light that reveals the true nature of our spiritual surroundings. He reveals things in us that are difficult to see, like the intentions of our heart. Jesus is a light that cuts through spiritual darkness to expose things that could do us harm. Jesus is a light that comforts us when we are afraid, and guides us when we are looking for direction.
We understand this, but do we believe it? Are we really walking in His light? Just because we know Jesus is the light, it doesn’t mean we have His light in our life. Verse 12 says "if we follow him", we will have the light. All Christians experience the darkness of discouragement at times. You may be in a place so dark right now it seems there is no way out. But you don’t need to walk in that darkness (v12). There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not a train, the light is Jesus Christ.
It seems insane, but sometimes we get comfortable with darkness. We don’t want the light to expose our deep struggles or failings. I’ll never forget the day Connie and I went to help a friend who was having some serious problems. All of her windows were covered and she was sitting in darkness, physically and spiritually. The darkness had become comfortable and familiar to her. As we opened the curtains the atmosphere instantly changed. The light flooded into the room and with it came a sense of hope that she had a way out of her situation.
The light of Jesus is a guide for our life, but we have to trust it. There are times when something He clearly revealed to us starts to get cloudy and we question it. We begin stumbling around in the dark wondering if God really showed us that. Never doubt in the dark what God showed you in the light! The light that leads to life will not lead you down the wrong path. Trust His light and follow it for life.
Scripture Reading: John 8:12-20
© 2010 David Soper, Inspired by the Word of God. All rights reserved. Scripture from New Living Translation