There are different levels of dark.
There’s the dark of a moonless night in the country. When you first leave a brightly illuminated house, the blackness seems thick and heavy, but in just a few minutes your eyes begin to adjust. First one or two stars poke through the night time canopy… then a few more and a few more. It’s not long until the blackness above you is replaced with a blanket of glittering light.
There’s the dark of your bedroom at 2am. You squint and strain to make out odd shapes that populate the room. After rubbing your eyes, you notice that the small streams of light from the alarm clock, the smoke detector and the display on the dvd player brighten your surroundings well enough that things soon revert to their familiar form.
And then, there’s cave dark. As my family experienced this weekend at Cumberland Caverns, when the lights go out inside a cave, a new level of black overtakes you that’s so oppressive it can be a bit disturbing. There are no stars, no street lights, no alarm clocks, no shadows, and not even one discernible pinpoint of light. It’s just dark. Really, really dark.
You know, a funny thing happens when you’re deprived of all sources of illumination… Your mind begins to play tricks on you. Your eyes search for anything to latch onto, and the more you strain to see, the more convinced you are that you really can see. If you trust that false information, you can quickly end up with a big bump on the head (or worse)! So the only options are stumble around on your own and hope you don’t hurt yourself… Or turn on a light!
Spiritually speaking, those are the only two options we have as well.
The Apostle Paul described those without Christ as “darkened in their understanding” (Eph. 4:18) and “blinded … so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel.” (2 Cor. 4:4) He reminds us in these verses that those who don’t know the Lord are unable to discern spiritual things.
I’ve had multiple conversations with believing friends who are frustrated and irritated with the convoluted nature of a lot of philosophies that are going on politically, socially, economically and spiritually these days. News programs continue to report new ideas that seem contradictory, and even ridiculous. The errors and breakdown in simple logic seems so obvious that it makes you shake your head. The way to correct these issues seems so easy. Just point out the double standards, correct the errors in judgment and we’ll be back on track, right? What Christians with that approach fail to take into account is that unbelievers are “darkened in their understanding” just as Paul said. The disconnect in their reasoning is obvious to us because scripture says we have ‘the mind of Christ.‘ (1 Cor. 2:16) Spiritual understanding is available to us through the Holy Spirit, but those who don’t have a relationship with God don’t have the capacity to discern truth from error. They are, in essence, just stumbling around in the dark, trying to make sense of what they cannot see.
The only solution to the dark is light… THE Light! That’s exactly what God gave us when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ. John writes… “In (Christ) was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5) I won’t go into an explanation of what it means for Jesus to be the Light of the World since I just wrote a post on that recently. [Meet Your Maker – Light of the World] Instead, I will remind you that the answers to the issues in our nation, our world and more importantly, our selves will never be found in anything we can figure out own our own apart from God. Solutions reside in the Light, and for His answers to make an impact on the world around us, they first have to make an impact on us individually. Change begins with us… and in us. So, open your eyes to His truth and move toward Him in faith. The deeper light of truth will begin to penetrate the nooks and crannies of your life, revealing areas that can illuminated by His healing, and loving touch.
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
~ Isaiah 9:2