“He will cover you with his pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day.” (Psalm 91:4–5).
Have you ever experienced total darkness? Not just the kind of darkness that happens when the sun sets each day, but the darkness that is so dark, you can’t see your own hand in front of your face. Imagine that you are in a large warehouse-style store. You are doing some last-minute shopping before you head home and it is late. You are trying to hurry because there’s a storm coming and you don’t want to be caught in it. Thankfully, there aren’t many shoppers in the store, so you should be quick. CRACK–BOOM! The lightning must’ve hit the building because the sound was deafening and now all the power is out. For some unknown reason, the store’s emergency lights aren’t turning on.
‘Oh shoot, what aisle am I in?’ you start thinking. Panic creeps into your mind and sinks deep into the pit of your stomach as time marches on. But wait, your phone has a flashlight. In your haste to turn it on, you drop your phone. You spend what seems to be an eternity searching the floor. ‘Am I ever going to get out of here?’ your mind asks. ‘Is anyone going to help me?’ The minutes slink by, dragging themselves into what seems to be hours. With every passing moment, the panic doubles down. Your eyes have tried to adjust, but there’s no ambient light in the store to help them see anything. Some other people have cried out, but they sound distant and their direction is unknown. So, you stay put, glued to your spot in fear of being lost.
Are you still with me? Did you see the total darkness in your mind? No matter how brave you are, in that particular situation, it is safe to say that most of us would panic at least a little bit. Now imagine if you had been standing in the candle aisle when the power went out and you happened to have a lighter in your pocket. After lighting a candle, that tiny little flame would cast so much light that it would illuminate most of the aisle. The light would reach the ceiling and become a beacon to the others lost inside the store. Those other shoppers would find their way over to your candle’s light. Humans don’t like to be in the dark. We thrive on light. We yearn for it.
“Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of Life.’” (John 8:12). Jesus is that beacon in the darkness; the beacon of hope and love. All humans should yearn for Christ’s warm embrace. As Christians, we need to be a bunch of little beacons of Christ’s light and love in this dark world. It is impossible for darkness to overcome light. There is no such thing as a “flashdark” that casts a beam of total darkness to push out the light. On the contrary, the light put off by a flashlight completely eliminates the darkness that its beam touches. Be Christ’s light in this world of darkness. Cast out the devil and all his evil deeds. Be the person that both unbelievers and believers alike can find blazing with faith in Jesus Christ’s redemption.
Experiment time. Light has no shadow. Safely light a candle and place it in front of a plain wall. Turn off all the lights in the room. Now point the brightest flashlight you can find directly at the flame on top of the candle. Take a close look at the wall. You will not find a shadow of the fire because fire is only light and heat. Jesus is light. Jesus is the warm refuge from life’s storms. Jesus is love.
Thanks be to God that Jesus Christ was sent to be our Light of Life; our beacon of hope and love. Because of God’s love, there is no reason to fear any darkness or the terrors that lurk in the shadows. In the spirit of Pentecost, spread the good news of Jesus Christ’s redemption to all you see. All glory be to God!