Saturday, August 14, 2010


This morning, my youngest daughter decided she was going to get up a little early and stay awake with her daddy.

Actually, I thought she was going to go right back to sleep, so I told my wife that I'd take her with me downstairs so I could study His Word a bit, and they could both sleep soundly.

Liviyah, our 7-week old, had other plans.

As the two of us came downstairs, I decided I'd hold her until she fell back asleep. Then I'd put her down in her bassinet and get to studying.

Again, things didn't go as I'd planned.

Instead, as I held Liviyah to my chest, her eyes stayed wide open.

I'm always fascinated by the way my baby daughter can just stare off into space.

As an infant, her eyes are still adjusting to this new thing called sight. In fact, at her age, unless what she's staring at is right in her face, it's all a blur.

Until her eyes are strong enough to focus on objects that are far away, they remain fuzzy and indistinct from everything else.

But this morning, as she strained to keep her head up, I noticed that her eyes were focused on one thing: the light coming from behind the curtains.

As I held her steady, and watched her face, Liviyah's eyes never strayed from what was undoubtedly the single most fascinating thing in her field of vision: the light.

When we moved into our house, my wife had an exciting time carefully picking out the curtains that are still in our living room.

Light tan and what I would call a soft-olive green hang from the windows and cast a nice light into the room.

And Liviyah was fascinated.

This got me thinking about a few things, and after I was finally able to lay Liviyah down, I grabbed my Bible and turned to John 8.

There, Jesus makes a wild claim about himself.

In verse 12 He says "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

Now at first glance, this claim seems like a beautiful metaphor.

Light. Darkness. Life.

But as other scriptures regarding light crept into my heart, I began to understand that this light and this darkness that Christ speaks of are more than metaphor.

In fact, this light and this darkness are real.

Recently, my wife and I watched a movie where darkness became very real for one of the characters.

After a mother and father make a series of bad decisions, based on one really selfish one, the antagonist of the film gives them a haunting choice: they can both live the rest of their lives enjoying the "fruits" of their selfish choice. Their only son, however, will live the rest of his life deaf. And blind.
Or they can sacrifice one of themselves to restore the missing senses to their son.

Don't worry, I won't ruin it for you.

But again, this got me thinking about light and darkness.

Blindness is always the result of some cause; sickness, abnormality, physical damage, etc.

In other words, something happens to an individual, one way or the other, that causes a person to go blind, plunging them into darkness.

The blindness causes the darkness.

The darkness that Christ speaks of, however, behaves differently.

In describing the danger of hating a brother, the Apostle John writes in his first epistle that one who walks in darkness "does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him."

Here we see something fascinating: the darkness causes the blindness.

And it is this darkness, this active, working, present darkness that Christ claims to deliver us from.

We walk in the midst of this darkness.

And without Christ in our hearts, we are held captive by it.

We are chained to this darkness.

We are subject to this darkness.

This darkness is working in our hearts, blinding our eyes and our hearts so that we cannot see where we are going.

So that we cannot understand why we are living.

And so we stumble and grope, walking along the walls.

"We grope for the wall like the blind;
we grope like those who have no eyes;
we stumble at noon as in the twilight,
among those in full vigor we are like dead men."
~ Isaiah 59:10

Fortunately, and thankfully, there is hope for our blindness.

Christ is the light to which we can look and which we can have with us to carry in our hearts.

The Apostle Paul reminds us in his letter to the Ephesians that our struggle with this darkness goes much deeper than what we can see or feel or touch.

Our blindness is not caused by a failing of our pupils or retinas.

No, our struggle is much more serious than that.

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."
~ Ephesians 6:12

Our opponents are spiritual, and our opponents embody darkness.

And so we live in this blackness, citizens of a town called Dark.

Yet there is hope!

"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined."
~ Isaiah 9:2

This light is Jesus Christ, just as He claimed.

And just like the Darkness of this world behaves with different properties and intentions, so this Light moves with unique attributes and qualities.

This Light carries with it life.

And it is only in His Light that we have any hope of overcoming the Darkness.

The Apostle John declares in the beginning of his Gospel that "In him (Christ) was life, and the life was the light of men."

Coming into the Light of Christ is much more than gaining our sight. We gain life.

Christ has come to do more than rescue us from the Darkness.

He's come to remove us from Darkness, to place us in His Light.

"He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son"
~ Colossians 1:13

As spiritual infants, it may be hard to distinguish the beautiful truths of Scripture and it may be difficult to ponder the wonderful mysteries of our faith.

But we can all stare at wonder at The Light, fascinated by His beauty.

We can all gaze in awe at the wonderful sights provided by His presence in our hearts, and we can all walk with the true life of man, given to us by Christ.

The Light of Christ can never be extinguished or overcome by the Darkness.

Instead, His Light purges all darkness.

My daughter was captivated this morning.

Lord, captivate me with your light.

Let it shine all around me and deliver me from this present darkness.

Let it light my paths and guide me as I walk through this life you've given to me.


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