Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. James 1:17
I want to express an entirely irregular discussion of a physical and spiritual substance that I am incredibly appreciative. For it is my love for light and its significance in our lives that intensify my gratitude this Christmas season.
Several years ago my family and I traveled to Mammoth Cave located in central Kentucky. It’s considered the longest cave system known in the world. The narrow walkways and extremely high places were not conducive to my liking, but for the sake of my boys, I faked my response through the entire experience. At the end of the tour, our guide brought us into a huge open cathedral-like room where man-made wooden benches were placed for our resting. I stared with awe at the breathtaking salt and water rock formations dangling from above our heads and protruding from the floor. Our guide explained that we were in the innermost chamber of the cave, and though it was filled with millions of cracks, no glimmer of sunlight could penetrate. For demonstration, she turned all the artificial lighting off for what seemed an eternity. We sat in pitch blackness until honestly, it seemed painful. It was the darkest gloom l had ever experienced in my life. I was ultimately surprised that the places I had thought were deeply ominous before, could not hold a candle (no pun intended) to what we experienced in that cavern. My eyes were opened to the significance of light and the dismal reality of an incurable bleakness, without it.
Scripture tells us that just after God formed the earth it was dark and empty. Thankfully, His Spirit moved over the waters speaking LIGHT into existence. Imagine waking up tomorrow morning and the sun not shining its radiance. Imagine not being able to behold with our eyes the beautiful thick fields of green grass, the stunning purple tulip trees at the first hint of spring, those faithful painted pansies, the melodic blue sky where the birds stretch their wings, the hypnotic teal of the dreamy sea, and the curious prisms that reflect heaven to each of us. Without light, there is complete chaos, sadness, and confusion. The bible tell us that one day, there is such a terrible day coming. And I want no part of it.
That day in Mammoth cave, I could not even see my hand in front of my face nor the presumed frightened looks from my children as they scrunched in closer to me as I too, moved in closer towards my husband. There was no yellow glint peering in, no, not even a remnant of optimism, flickering. After a moment, a hollow feeling filled the pit of my stomach as the Holy Spirit revealed the reality of eternity separated from our Holy and Glorious Almighty God. This understanding was not just limited to the “seeable” kind of light that I desperately sought out in that situation but most especially, it pertained the supernatural kind of light we often cannot see. Recognizing that God is “The Father of Lights,” with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow, is the greatest lesson we all must learn.
Apparently, God created us to seek light. Although, I no longer fear the uncertainty hiding under my bed or those imagined piercing eyeballs peeking from my gloomy closet each night, I still avoid darkness like the plague. My boys, who are nearly twelve years old, prefer to wait on each other – before they “Walk the Mile” upstairs into the shadowy dread. Even if they have bickered all day long – just before bed they are instant comrades again; set on a mission to defeat any hidden nighttime foes that lie covered in ebony colored cloaks. Not only do all of us avoid the scariness of physical darkness but also the foreboding spiritual darkness that we feel on us like a heavy blanket. Physical and spiritual light are life sustaining, and when either one are missing – something dreadful goes wrong in the human heart and soul. Wouldn’t you agree?
Jesus told us, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” It shouldn’t surprise us then, that a bright and miraculous star heralded His birth over Bethlehem. As I recall the moment I became a follower of Christ as a child, I was in the grip of intense night-time fear. The instant I asked Him to come dwell within me, my worries were amazingly lifted. Little did I know then, that because He (Jesus) is The Light of the World – I was cured of all present and future spiritual darkness that overtakes a soul. Unfortunately, according to God’s Word, “this is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people will love the darkness instead of light because their deeds are evil.” (Paraphrased John 3:19). Surely this saying does not apply to you.
I pray this holiday season, that we ponder the greatness of God’s luminous light that brings us hope, love and eternal salvation to all who believe. Merry Christmas and May you be enraptured by His radiant glory.