There is an incredible phenomenon that happens several times per day in the daily routine of close to every person in the world. We take it for granted and in most cases we look at it as nothing more than an insignificant split-second action.Yet without out it we would potentially be covered in bruises, clothing wouldn’t match, finding things would be nearly impossible, children might live in constant fear(at least a few hours a day), and there would be a significant spike in the number of broken toes. Life would be chaos. So, what is it that prevents this chaos?

Every time I walk into a dark room; I flip a switch and a light turns on. This mundane, insignificant task prevents so much chaos and disorder in my life. I sometimes have trouble matching clothing and have a tendency to run into things in a bright and shiny room. I don’t even want to think about what my clothing choices might be like if I couldn’t see anything. Maybe at one point this action of turning on a light was a more significant moment. What child hasn’t stood right next to a light switch toggling between off and on?  

Cast Away, the Tom Hanks film from 2000, gives a great example of an adult experiencing this child-like amazement with a light switch. Tom Hanks’s character had been stranded on an island for a very long time following an airplane crash. When he finally makes his return, it is a spectacular moment. It’s the story of a man who was stripped of all modern conveniences returning to a world dependent upon those modern conveniences. Once he returns he is naturally amazed even with the simplest things. There is one scene in which he is doing nothing more than sitting next to a light switch toggling between off and on. OFF, dark. ON, light. OFF, dark. ON, light. The film does a great job of reminding us of how we take modern convenience for granted. But more than that; is there something more to this fascination with light filling a dark room? 

The Bible says that

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep…And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” Genesis 1:1-3.

There was chaos. Nothingness. Emptiness. God brought order to chaos by turning ON light. Obviously, God doesn’t use a switch. He simply speaks and the light is no longer absent. Darkness is the absence of light. This why we use the language that we do to describe our light switches. OFF, dark. ON, light. If the light is on; it overtakes the darkness. Darkness does not overtake light. That sounds familiar…

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” --John 1:5

John is talking about Jesus. Jesus is the light that stepped into darkness and overcomes it. Even the most insignificant aspects of our lives reflect not only God’s created order but also God’s provision of redemption through Jesus. 

We, without Christ, are consumed by darkness. We are hopeless. We are full of chaos, emptiness, and nothingness. In an effort to provide our own solutions to these things we are constantly searching for somewhere to find satisfaction. And we are prone to look to anything and everything except to the one thing that actually provides it. The truth is even those with Christ experience this pull. We also live, at times, with the temptation to walk in darkness, pretending like we can navigate our own way through it. The hymn “Come Thou Fount” has the lyric “Prone to wander Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love.” The result is chaos, feeling empty, joylessness and nothingness. More importantly the result is broken fellowship with God.  We compound the problem by hiding our sin, in hopes that it will go away without anyone ever knowing.  So what is the solution to this? Elsewhere in the Bible; John says,

“...God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” ---1 John 1:5-7

If we “walk in the light”, John says, “the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” The blood of Jesus was spilled on a cross. His perfect life credited to me while my sin  was credited to him. His blood spilled on the cross has the power to cleanse me of all sin and as I walk with him he will provide the joy, satisfaction, and fullness that I’ve always longed for. And he will do this even while he exposes the mess that is my heart. As he exposes this mess, as I see more of my sin, more of my unrighteousness, I will also see more of his grace toward me. I will see more clearly the cost that was paid on the cross and my joy and satisfaction will increase even more. Here are a few things you can do to “walk in the light.”

  1. Read the Bible: The Word of God will convict your heart through the power of the Holy Spirit revealing the sin in your life. Light will be shined on your darkness
  2. Pray: Ask God to reveal sin to you. Ask God to help you turn from it and grow in Him.
  3. Share your sins with other believers: Secrecy is darkness. Other believers are a gift to you. 

Finally, maybe next time you walk into a dark room, you will flip on a light switch only to reveal a mess that couldn’t be seen in the dark. Remember the one who shines the light into the darkness has the power to clean up the mess. Just as you now can see your messy room and can begin to put things in order; God who shines the light into darkness has the power to clean the mess in you and put everything in order.

 “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philipians 1:6