Here in Northern Illinois, we are deep in the heart of winter. The days are short and the sunlight can be nearly impossible to find some days. It seems as if it is dark when I wake up and go to school, and somehow it’s nearly dark when I leave school as well.
You might also be experiencing this where you live. Even though we’ve passed the winter solstice and the hours of sunlight are increasing, it feels as if we’ve been living in perpetual darkness for several months now. I can’t remember the last time I’ve driven somewhere in the evening without having to turn on my car lights, and I certainly can’t tell you the last time I turned off all the lights in my apartment, basking in the sunlight.
Sometimes, it even seems as if darkness is winning, beating the light in a game of who can claim the most hours of the day.
Maybe this feels a little bit like life for you right now: darkness beating out light. I know for me, I have recently been more tired than usual, slightly less peppy and excited about my various callings in life, and straying from my sweet Jesus.
Light vs. Darkness. The age-old struggle of mankind.
The dictionary defines light in a few ways. The definitions vary from “the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible” to “providing with light” to “not dark.” However, the definition that I enjoy the most is “an expression in someone’s eyes.” I love this definition because it paints a beautiful image in my mind. The light in a child’s eyes when they see mom or dad for the first time in a few hours, the way someone’s face lights up when they are surprised with their favorite thing. It is such a beautiful depiction of the word light.
Darkness also has a few different definitions ranging from “the partial or total absence of light” to “secrecy or mystery.” Of course, my favorite is “wickedness or evil.” This paints a picture that is totally opposite of the expression of light in someone’s eyes. Unfortunately, I can conjure up several images of wickedness or evil pretty quickly.
The Bible also has lots to say about light and darkness. The first occurrence of the word light in the Bible happens in Genesis 1. The first documented words of our God include the word light:
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. (Genesis 1:3–5)
After this, when the Bible mentions light, it is typically in conjunction with darkness. Psalm 18:28 reads,
For it is You who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness. (Psalm 18:28)
Our sweet Jesus is the exact opposite of darkness. He is the ultimate light. The problem is that we are the epitome of darkness: wicked, evil, sinful people. We mess up constantly. We quickly become tired of doing good, we help others with selfish intentions, and we expect rewards for doing good.
Even when we claim to be light, we are physically incapable of being light on our own. We are reminded of this in 1 John:
If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. (1 John 1:6)
The good news is that we worship a God who is so much stronger than any darkness we are facing. In fact, He is so much more powerful than the darkness that He takes our hand and pulls us from the darkness into the light.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:9–10)
He has chosen us to be His people. He has a purpose for us and He showers us with His mercy as He leads us to the light. Sure, we will daily mess up, but our sweet Jesus shows us grace upon grace every single day so that we, too, may experience His light, living out our callings for His glory. What a sweet, sweet Jesus we serve.
Walking in the light as a chosen child of God,
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Let God’s Word give light to your life every day with the daily Bible readings and devotions in Today’s Light.