“Do my eyes look Chinese?” is what my nine year old asked one Monday morning as he stumbled his way to the kitchen table. Before sitting down, he dimmed the overhead lights until his eyes were fully open. About that same time, my daughter made her way to the bathroom and said “don’t turn on the lights, I can’t see.” What an oxymoron that is.
We all know light is needed for most of us to make our way around in the dark. But for some of us, we have been in the pitch-black so long it’s all we know and what we’re use to. If we stay there, it will leave us blinded by the light and obscured to the truth of God’s plan for our lives.
I was in that sunless, somber place for a while. My later teens and early twenties were spent in the wrong places making poor decisions. I remember being the life of the party when in reality there was no life inside me at all. I had heard the truth of Jesus and yet I chose to turn away from Him. Like I did, there are those, who rebel against the light (Jesus), who do not know its ways or stay in its paths. (Job 24:13). He allowed me to make my own decisions and in so doing, consequences always followed. And they always will.
Why would so many of us choose the painful dark road of obstruction rather than walk on the illuminating path of righteousness? It could be a number of reasons:
Familiarity - Even if we know what we’re doing is wrong, if it’s all we know, we will continue doing it. Romans 7:15 says “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
Fear – We may be afraid that our mistakes will be made known. The truth is we are all sinners saved by grace. Our omniscient God already knows everything we’ve ever done or will do. Even so, there is nothing we can do to separate the love He has for us. We may also fear we won’t have fun anymore. So many people that aren’t walking with the Lord seem to think the Christian life is boring. However, living a life completely sold out to Christ will be anything but.
Fleshly desires –We’re human beings born with sinful, selfish ways. Temptations are at every turn with a constant battle against the flesh and the Spirit. But, God is faithful; he will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear and will also provide a way out so we can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Hindsight is 20/20. Looking back over the course of my life, God orchestrated so many people I crossed paths with to continually point me to Him. Though some of those divine encounters may have felt their words were falling on deaf ears, they helped teach me who this magnificent beacon, Jesus Christ, was. They were able to shine because Christ shown through them. Their lives impacted me even though it took many years for me to realize it.
We, who have accepted Jesus, have that same light inside and should let it shine before men in such a way they see good works and glorify our Father in heaven. (Matthew 5: 14-16)
For those who have felt imprisoned to bleak, painful nights, the bond has been paid and freedom to walk in the light of day is for the taking. Being a follower of Jesus does not mean we won’t face hard times, because we will. However, if we use His word as a lamp to guide our feet and a light for our path, we’ll find it much easier to maneuver.
Most majestic heavenly Father, I thank you for never leaving me though I so often leave you. Thank you for the people you have placed in my life that beam with your truth. Help me to be a light that extinguishes the dark and ignites others for you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.