Tuesday, August 21, 2012
The Book of John
The Life Project: John
I hate the dark. Even as an adult, I am still a bit afraid of it. When my husband goes
out of town I sleep with the bathroom light on. From my constant desire to avoid
darkness, I have learned a few things about the light.
The first thing I know is that light and darkness cannot coexist. Secondly, I know that
light dispels fear. And finally I know that if you want to know where you are going, you
need a light. In the book of John, it is fitting then that Jesus is frequently referred to as
a light John 1:4-5 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light
shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:9-10 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the
world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the
world did not recognize him.
John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the
world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of
John 12:35-36 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little
while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you.
Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the
light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he
had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.
So what does it mean that Jesus is the light? What does it mean that He has called me
to be a child of the light? I heard an illustration once about light and darkness that I
thought was very powerful. Suppose you had a dark room that you wanted to make
light. Would you make it light by scooping out the darkness one cup at a time? Would
you grab a pitcher and swing it through the air to capture the darkness and then try to
pour it out? No! Of course not! To make a dark room light, you turn on a light. When
the light is on, darkness cannot exist. When Jesus is on the scene then, darkness
cannot exist. For me to live as a child of the light I must keep this principle in mind. I
cannot rid myself of my darkness with my own efforts. Any effort to get rid of my
darkness is as asinine and trying to scoop the darkness out of a room with a
measuring cup. What I need to get rid of my darkness is a light. I need Jesus. When I
welcome Jesus into my life, the darkness naturally dissipates because darkness and
light cannot coexist.
The result of having the Light in my life is that fear is dispelled. I am a fearful person
by nature. Maybe it is my human condition that makes me this way. Maybe it is my sin
nature. Maybe it’s just me. But whatever the reason, I struggle daily to fight anxiety
and fear in my life. I worry about my children. I worry about my husband. I worry
about our church family. If I allow myself to crouch in the darkness, I become fearful
of so many things. But when I focus on Jesus, on His goodness on His holiness, I don’t
have much time to focus on my fears. When the light is turned on, the darkness runs
hiding, and my fear fades away.
Finally I understand that to know where I am going, I need a light. We were recently
visiting my in-laws and Matt got up in the middle of the night because he heard one of
our boys crying. He walked out of our room and straightff the first step of a long
stair case. He wasn’t familiar enough with his parent’s new house to remember there
were stairs there, and it was pitch black so he couldn’t see that there were stairs. He
almost broke his neck. When Matt told me about the middle-of-the-night adventure
the next day, it got me thinking about life. So often we walk around in total darkness.
We don’t know where we are going. We have no idea about the obstacles that are in
our path. We are tripping over ourselves, over sin, over uncertainty. We are walking
down staircases. Maybe we just end up walking in circles because we cannot see
where we are going. But what if we had a light? What if we allowed our Savior to
illuminate our path? We probably wouldn’t falter near as much as we do now. We
would probably “get somewhere” in life instead of walking in circles. Psalm 119:105
says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” The Word of God,
and Jesus, the Word made flesh; these are lights.
As you study the book of John this week, I encourage you to ask God how He wants to
apply His Light to your life.