Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dispelling the Darkness

“I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness
but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12

Do you have a favorite time of day to walk? Mine is early morning. For the past few weeks I have been walking in darkness, with sunrise holding off till almost 7:30. As I walk, I appreciate the little solar lights people place along their sidewalks help me avoid walking off the edge or stumbling over cracks in the concrete.

Occasionally, everyone walks through “dark” periods in our lives—times of uncertainty, anger, hurt, and loss. We need someone to shed light on our problems and dispel our fears, someone to help us sort things out and indicate the best way to turn. Groping around in these dark times can be frightening and even dangerous.

In John 8:12 Jesus refers to himself as the light of the world. He promises to illuminate our path and show us the way. No matter how dark things may seem, he can bring light to every situation. But there is a condition that accompanies his promise. Did you catch it? In order for Jesus to shine his light on our lives we must be following him. Following…

As a camp counselor, I often walked the grounds with another counselor to check on things before turning in for the night. If the other counselor carried the flashlight and I veered away from them or tried to hurry ahead, I found myself in total darkness. But as long as I stayed close and followed them, their flashlight illuminated the path for both of us.

Spiritually, we can experience the same effect. Are we following Jesus? Or are we trying to run ahead of him, seeking our own path and insisting on our own way? Are we staying beside him, letting his light guide us or are we holding back and finding ourselves in the darkness again?

Have you ever tried to take the knot out of a necklace when someone stood in your light, producing shadows that made it impossible to continue? In the same way, spiritual obstacles—mixed up priorities, questionable influences, or sheer busyness—can interfere with our relationship with Jesus. As a result, we find ourselves groping our way through life without the benefit of Jesus’ light shining in our lives.

In Matthew 28:20, Jesus promises that he will always be with us. No matter what difficulties we may have to go through, no matter what challenges we may have to face, we are not alone. Simply by following Jesus, we can have the comfort and guidance of his light.

Blessings as you follow Him!

©2011 Pamela D. Williams