Men loved darkness. They still do. Why? We don’t like the light to shine on what we do. We like to work in the dark because we don’t want anyone to see what we are doing? Ever do something you didn’t want anyone to know about? I’m not talking about a surprise; I’m talking about following the rules in ways that you might not want others to know what you are doing.
Hunting has a lot of rules. They’re not impossible or even hard to follow but they are easy to break. As a hunter you get lots of opportunities to break the rules: like when that deer is in a remote edge of private land you don’t have permission to hunt on or when it would be easier to stay in the vehicle and fire your weapon without startling your prey by actually getting out if the truck or when all around you are mule deer and your tag is only for whitetail deer. I’ve noticed a lot of opportunities to break the rules while out in the woods.
Some years ago,a few of us went hunting for deer down south of the Black hills and the opportunities were scarce, to say the least. This was the only day we could go so we were getting a bit frustrated. Sometimes land isn’t marked out all that well and we were in territory that was unfamiliar and we had lost our map. Our best opportunity for harvesting our game involved too much uncertainty about our location so we refrained and went home empty-handed. We were in a remote location and nobody was around but we were uncertain if we were on private or public land. Later investigation showed we were clearly on private land at the time and our decision was the right one. The next morning came and found me out in the woods all alone – just me and the deer. I had a nice little buck at about 70 yards and I couldn’t seem to get him closer. My tag was for bow-hunting and that is well out of my effective range. Sitting in my truck was my muzzle-loader rifle from the day before. 70 yards would have been an easy shot with the rifle but my muzzle-loader tags were for a completely different area and only for does. There was no one around and I was just down the road from my house. I could have gotten away with it easily.
Could you live with it? Would you have grabbed the gun and shot that deer? Could you have still walked in the light after doing a deed that belonged in the dark?
Yes, I could have gotten away with it. But I’d know. And God would know. Do you have any idea how hard it would be to get in the pulpit and talk about the Light of Jesus after doing something like that? The World loves its darkness so it can get away with things – things it wouldn’t want to come into the light. Jesus is the Light. When we walk with Jesus it becomes a lot harder to do those things that we don’t want the light to shine upon. It gets harder to walk in darkness when the Light is shining all around you.
In John 8:1, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
In the Australian bush country grows a little plant called the ‘sundew.”” It has a slender stem and tiny, round leaves fringed with hairs that glisten with bright drops of liquid as delicate as fine dew. Woe to the insect, however, that dares to dance on it. Although its attractive clusters of red, white, and pink blossoms are harmless, the leaves are deadly. The shiny moisture on each leaf is sticky and will imprison any bug that touches it. As an insect struggles to free itself, the vibration causes the leaves to close tightly around it. This innocent-looking plant then feeds on its victim.
What kind of temptations do you face each day? Are there deeds in your life that you would rather keep in the dark? How well do you do when the temptation to live in the dark comes your way?
John 9:1-7 tells the story of Jesus healing a blind man.
“1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam.” So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
Jesus is the Light of the World. The beauty of these verses is how the Light is brought about for the blind man and, by extension, you and me. This is what happens when you come into the Light. This is what happens when Jesus comes into your life.
As I read the Bible, the person I identify with most is the blind man. There are a few in the New Testament that are healed by Jesus. The symbolism of light coming into dark eyes is a fitting one for what happens when we accept Jesus into our hearts. We come into the Light.
It’s hard, sometimes. The evil in our lives gets the bright light shone upon it and is exposed. We’re ashamed of these things. In the dark we rationalize our behavior to make it acceptable in our darkened souls. We do something in the dark and say it’s okay to hurt that person because they first hurt us or because of all the injustice in our lives it’s okay to take something to even out the score. There are always reasons that seem to work in the dark – but they don’t stand up when the Light exposes the falsehoods that they really are.
Jesus changes all that. The Light He introduces into our lives is painful at times but it is meant to push the darkness completely out. Once the Light of Jesus gets in, it is impossible for darkness to remain. It always gets exposed in the presence of God.
Jesus is the Light of the World. Is He the Light of your world? Are there any dark places remaining in your life that you’re desperately trying to keep from being exposed by His Light? You don’t think God already knows? The darkness is our comfort zone. It’s what connects us with the world around us. Jesus brings light into our dark worlds and pushes the darkness out. It wizens us and it frees us from the darkness.
I’m willing to say that each of us still has darkness in our lives. You may not want it but you know it’s there. Jesus is hard at work bringing light into every corner of your world. Let Jesus bring light to your blind eyes. Let His Light shine and set you free!