“For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.” Ephesians 5:8-12 New Living Translation
Not long ago I shared with you a couple of my fears. I mentioned I didn’t understand one of them, the fear of drowning. It doesn’t make sense to me because I really enjoy water sports. My fear only reveals itself when I dream about it. Well, I’ve decided to reveal here, live and in person, my most embarrassing fear: the dark! I know it’s something I’m supposed to have outgrown long ago, but it’s still lurking in the recesses of my mind.
Having a fear of the dark isn’t like having a fear of heights. People consider a fear of heights in an adult as natural, but a fear of the dark? I have no idea why it’s there, but I’m able to control it and my fear of heights, at least to a point. I doubt anyone would guess my fears from looking at me.
One of C.S. Lewis’ characters In his book “Out of the Silent Planet” referred to planet earth as being covered in darkness. The darkness covering earth created a void from which nothing could be heard. Remember the Bible verse about the morning stars singing? In Lewis’ story, earth’s song was silenced by the Dark! It was for me a profound insight into the condition of the place where I live. And maybe I wasn’t so wrong to be afraid of the dark that has stolen from all of us the ability to experience our Creator in completeness!
It dawned on me everything has changed; it changed 2000 years ago when the Creator came to destroy the dark with His light. When God created the earth, it was light He first gave. Have you considered the light was God Himself? When we are told there is no place on this world we can go where God is not, it is His presence as light infiltrating where the dark resides, destroying its impact! The presence of light changes everything in our lives, piercing the threatening darkness which tries to overwhelm us.
Here is a truth we can’t avoid; the darkness fills us until God’s light enters and shatters the darkness! We know when glass shatters the pieces fly everywhere, shards in sizes from tiny to large. Trying to find and collect every bit of the once complete glass object is impossible. Just as a glass vase breaks into fragments when dropped, so will the dark be fractured by the light of God”s Grace. There are places where the dark is hiding, recesses of the heart and mind we know nothing about. In these hidden places the author of darkness plans revenge, but what we need to know and remember is God’s light seeks out those darkest of places and destroys every splinter of the dark that remains in us!
We all struggle with doing what will honor God, bringing joy to those we meet, or comfort to each one feeling the pain of this world, or making a positive difference for someone. We often come up with excuses, but God’s Grace doesn’t accept excuses. God has brought light into our lives, His light to replace the dark. God’s Grace shines into darkened places of our psyche we aren’t even aware exist. In doing this He exposes what needs to be healed in our hearts and minds!
According to God’s word this light not only illuminates the dark, it produces what God desires in us! This is an action of God’s Grace we often miss or don’t understand. The active work of the Holy Spirit in our lives transforms us into the person God envisioned when He first thought of you and me. Contemplating that thought just overwhelms me!
When I consider God thought of me from before this universe was laid out, I can believe I am loved by my Creator! And I need all the help I can get to be convinced I am loved in any capacity, by anyone since I have been well primed to believe there is nothing in me to love. Therefore God’s light makes a huge difference in how I see myself. His light reveals the love God’s Grace lasers into me, and it is the same thing He does for everyone He created!
The admonition to leave alone conversations about what occurs in the dark is apparently quite easy to ignore! Maybe it’s a case of grand standing, endeavoring to grab the attention of those around us by listing someone else’s improper behavior. Too many times things shared in confidence find their way into the main stream (I have a prayer request…), and once there cause devastation and even irreparable damage. We are called to live in the light allowing God to accomplish what He desires in and through our lives!
Two thousand years ago a carpenter turned itinerant preacher/teacher, also called the Jewish Messiah, was crucified by the Romans on behalf of the Jews! His crime: claiming to be the Son of God, healing people, offering forgiveness which can only be given by God. What many believe and understand about Jesus is this: He was a prophet, a good man, someone who was on the same level as Buddha. We know Jesus was so much more than that. We know Him to be the Word who became flesh, God incarnate, the Son of God who chose to become human, go to the cross, and die for us so we don’t need too!
What we are offered in the verses above is more than just the assurance of God’s light; written there is the assurance that what we once were we are no longer! It is the guarantee of God’s Grace that transforms the old into the new, recreates that which was into that which is. God’s Grace produces in us that which is good and right and true!
All of this is made possible because of Jesus who chose to become the Son of God and came to earth to become Jesus the son of Mary, to grow up Jesus the son of Joseph the carpenter. When the time was right Jesus the Son of God, the son of Mary, the son of Joseph, became Jesus the teacher, soon to become Jesus the Messiah. All to save the inhabitants of one very small planet, in one very insignificant solar system, in a rather tiny universe, somewhere in space! Yet it was this planet God decided He was not going to allow to die without making an effort to save us.
I’m sorry there are so many who view God as some tyrant who is only about anger, fear, destruction, and control. They miss the truth of His infinite love. I’m sorry I haven’t allowed Him to be more evident in my life so others would have a better understanding of His love, and I am thankful, as I have said many times, for God’s damage control. I am thankful especially now as I consider what His light is doing in my life and what His life, death, and resurrected life have done to make the light possible!
Now we live as children of the light, although we were formerly children of the dark. Everything we were we are no longer, and everything we are to be we are becoming. All of it made possible because God chose death rather than live without any one of us. This is our legacy from the Garden of Eden where Jesus changed everything for everyone through eternity! Because it was in that Garden that Jesus chose to believe the Father and do what His Father asked, saving us all! And now life is more than we could ever imagine, because we live in the light as Jesus is the Light!
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16 New International Version