A favorite summer activity for my kids is to stand with their backs to the campfire pit on a warm night and reflect their shadows on the giant wall of our house. It doesn’t take long until you hear giggles that turn to shrieks of laughter as they dance and contort their bodies in all sorts of interesting ways.
My boys enjoy pretending they are godzilla and are eating their sister. She enjoys stomping on their tiny heads. Their growth of 20 feet in mere seconds or being reduced to the size of insects can keep them entertained for hours.
But as soon as that comforting light dies and the fire begins to turn to ember, you can hear them plead with daddy to add more wood to the fire. Aside from wanting the dance party to carry on, there is an uneasiness that begins to stir when the light starts to fade.
When shadows are dark and enveloping, even in the distance, there is comfort that light brings.
I have long been a fan of lighthouses for this reason. I have had the opportunity to explore several over the east and west coasts and they all have the same basic purpose. They majestically cast their light to wayward sailors and distressed ships. They provide a direction and a point of focus. They bring hope.
We have seen darkness in our world since the beginning of creation. We are simply three verses into the Bible and we hear the words “Let there be light, and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). Physically speaking, there were instances throughout Biblical recordings where darkness surrounded the characters.
Moses and the people crossed the Red Sea in the dark, Jonah sat in the dark for three solid days smelling stinky fish. Jesus Himself was born into the dark night of Bethlehem, and later died as darkness enveloped the earth.
In these times of darkness, be they physical or figurative, I can often find myself heading for despair and hopelessness. We know from Scripture that the enemy is the prince of darkness, so it is no surprise when we hear God call Himself the light of the world.
“Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life'”. (John 8:12)
Light that is small gets brighter and stronger the closer we get to it. The way it dispels the darkness and gives us comfort is the same way God’s everlasting love works.
It is a focus point and direction for us. It provides peace and the ability to see when everything looks dark around us. The closer I draw near to Him and allow Him to wrap me in His love, the more confident I am in the darkness.
Christ Himself rose early in the morning after the blackest of nights. We see in the gospels that the sun had just risen on that glorious new day. His defeat over darkness brought redemption to all. It is by the light of the Son that all our fears are gone and God shows us His glory this side of heaven.
Becasue we get to witness and experience this light as His, we can pass this onto others. Being a light requires sacrifice and intentionality. I means bending my will to do what God is asking.
It might mean helping out a friend when I would rather read a book. Being a light may mean getting groceries for a neighbor who is home with a newborn, or fixing a hot meal for my husband when I am tired. It means sacrficially giving of my time and energy to my kids so that they see what a follower of light does.
Being a light forces me to stay close to the source of Everlasing Light so that I can continue to maintain strength, confidence, and hope.
So, sweet reader, what has you feeling like you are in the dark and shadows?
What has you hurting and in need of healing? In what ways are you seeing glimmers of light?
I want to encourage you to walk toward the light. For it is in the shadow of the light that we can dance.
“…for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended”