Monday, September 23, 2013

Why live in darkness when you can live in the light?

            Not long ago I read a story about a woman who had been blind for fifty years. Following surgery, when the bandages were removed her vision had been restored. It is hard to imagine the joy she must have felt when able to see for the first time in her life. That’s the good news. The sad part of the story is that advances in the field of medicine made it possible for her to have had this surgery 20 years earlier. She just didn’t know that it was available. As a result she spent 20 years living in darkness instead of light. Given the choice, who would want to live in darkness?
The thought of living in darkness is not a pleasant thought. Oh, we may enjoy brief periods of darkness when we want to sleep or don’t feel well. But the thought of permanent darkness, complete darkness is depressing at best. The medical community reports that when the shortened days of winter come the number of suicides and cases of severe depression increase dramatically.
Darkness, despair, and gloom seem to go hand in hand. If you are closer to getting your social security check than your driver’s license, you will remember the television show Hee Haw! Every week, Buck Owens and Roy Clark would sing a song which started with the words, “Gloom, despair, and agony on me, deep dark depression, excessive misery….”  These are all the types of expressions the Bible uses to describe those who are living in sin and unbelief. Words which we use in a physical way are merged with the spiritual.
We find an example of this in John 3:19 where we are told “men loved darkness instead of light.” And in verse 20 of the same chapter, “men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” Darkness and sin, death, and hell go hand in hand. Jesus says the people cast into hell will be thrown into “the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”(Mt 25:30).
On the other hand, light, brightness, brilliance, are good things. The light causes things to grow. It enables us to see, work, and function in life. Those who are blind and live in darkness know firsthand what a blessing light is.
The Bible picks up on this as well. Jesus calls himself the “Light of the world” (Jn 8:12). In the opening chapter of the book of John Jesus is described this way: “In him (Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men.” Isaiah says that Jesus, the promised Messiah, was to be a “Light for the Gentiles” (Is 42:6).
These thoughts are summed up well in I John 1:5ff, “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie…But if we walk in the light, as he is light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
Do you want to live in the light or the darkness? Darkness, sin, and unbelief lead to gloom, despair, and hell. Walking with Jesus Christ, trusting in him as your Savior, means walking in the light and having life, eternal life to boot. Walk in Christ! Walk in the Light!