I love the sun. It is always welcome after a long dark winter or a number of grey days. It is wonderful to soak in the rays and just feel the warmth seep into my body. I am glad though, that at present, I am called to live in the UK with its defined seasons and not too intense heat.
An amazing light phenomenon that I would love to see is the northern lights. I would like to visit Norway for myself and even experience an unending night in their winter. But I can’t comprehend what it must be like to live six months of the year in darkness.
I have been thinking about light and dark whilst contemplating this post. The penultimate plague that the land of Egypt endured was that of darkness.
21 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand towards the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt – darkness that can be felt.’ Exodus 10:21
What must have that felt like? I can imagine a darkness that could be felt to be not only physical but spiritual too. It would be crippling to be in such a place. There wasn’t any flame or torch that could break into that kind of darkness. The plagues appeared to get progressively worse as each time Pharaoh refused to be obedient. I assume that the Egyptians suffered more in this time than in any of the other plagues. This darkness had a complete absence of light and as GOD is light, they may have found out what it felt like to live without GOD being present. The spiritual realm that they would have encountered would have been full of evil.
The incredible thing about this section in Exodus is that the Israelites didn’t suffer the same fate as Egypt.
23 No one could see anyone else or move about for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived. Exodus 10:23
GOD had ensured that His people had light and presence. They had freedom to move about and were not plagued by the darkness. They were set apart.
For you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10
It is because of His mercy that we can live in the freedom of light. We don’t deserve it but it is GOD who does the naming and choosing. He calls us out of the darkness, out of the place where He isn’t present, so that we can live in His wonderful light. His light is far better than the sun and will do a complete work of warming our souls and nourishing our bodies with all that is needed to grow and thrive.
We live in a time when darkness seems to invade our lives and threatens us. Only this week, Manchester in the UK suffered a dark attack. Darkness seems to be seeping in everywhere. But let’s not be fooled by what we see in the natural! GOD is light, in Him there is no darkness … and He has all authority so nothing can stand against Him.
However, I do now that many feel personally crippled by darkness. It is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week have experienced a common mental health problem. (McManus S, Bebbington P, Jenkins R, Brugha T. (eds.) (2016) Mental health and wellbeing in England: Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2014. Leeds: NHS Digital.) That includes all walks of life … including Christians. I know people who have suffered or are walking through depression and have described it as a darkness. I am grateful for the innovations in medicine which not only heal and repair bodies but also help the mind. But do we also go out of our way to treat the condition in our souls? How do we take care of of souls?
In Psalm 1 it talks of being like a tree that yields its fruit in season with leaves that don’t wither. Trees can only grow under the right conditions: water, nourishment and light.
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither –
whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:1-3
This Psalm gives advice to help with growth during day and night – we are to be planted in GOD and meditate on the law of the Lord. This means to root ourselves in the identity that GOD gives, to not be drawn by the world and to study and practice the whole doctrine given by GOD to His people.
In view of this, I have pulled out some scriptures on the subject of GOD being light that you might like to meditate and chew on. You could write or print them out, stick them around your mirror, speak them out and learn them. I wonder what GOD will reveal to you as you let Him open your eyes? I ask GOD that all traces of darkness will be banished.
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5
The Lord is my light and my salvation –
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life –
of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
11 If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,’
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you. Psalm 139:11-12
16 The people living in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.’ Matthew 4:16
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:5-7
23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendour into it. Revelation 21:23-24