We’ve had days and days of cold, dreary weather. Gray days that drain you of energy and motivation. At least that is what they are doing to me. Maybe sometime this summer I will think that I could have spent this time cleaning out closets and organizing photos, but mostly I have just sat in my chair and read. Where is the sunlight?
In the Bible study I attend, we have been studying the book of 1 John. Maybe it is because I am so light deprived, but I seem to be drawn to John’s description of God as light. He uses this reference in his epistles as well as the Gospel of John. “God is light,” (1 John 1:5); “I am the light of the World,” John 8:12. John also uses light and darkness to contrast truth and lies, good and evil. On the surface these seem to be pretty elementary truths, but God has been taking me deeper, teaching me about light.
I left Bible study the other day thinking about how light can travel, but darkness cannot. When it is dark in my house, but light outside I can open the shutters and a dark room becomes light. But the opposite is not true. If it is dark outside and light inside, opening the shutters will not make the room dark. It won’t even dilute the light that is there. So there was my first truth: light can travel into the darkness, but darkness cannot travel to the light. The rest of that verse in 1 John says that “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” God is pure and holy, and the darkness of sin cannot change or corrupt His holiness. But His light can travel and penetrate the darkness of sin. Remember, dark cannot travel. When I was in the darkness of sin I had no way to get to the Light on my own. The Light had to come to me. And He did that by dying on a cross, bridging that chasm that separated me from the Light. The Light came and rescued me from the darkness.
I’m told I have a weird brain and I guess it is true. I became more curious about light and did a little research, and if you are not into a lot of technical stuff you might not want to finish reading. Whew, there is a LOT of information about light available. It is at once simple and complex, obvious and mysterious. I will try not to put you to sleep.
The world “light” appears over 200 times in the Bible, so I’m thinking God wants us to know about it. I found my second truth right away: Light is necessary to sustain life. I guess you could say I had a light bulb moment (pun intended), because it hit me right away. God’s first recorded words were, “Let there be light.” Duh! As creator and sustainer of life, He knew light was necessary for creation. Light provides the energy for life to grow and thrive. When plants are deprived of light they don’t do well and may even die. Light, by way of photosynthesis, provides the very oxygen we need to breathe. Many humans become depressed when they go for days without light. Light is our source of vitamin D and regulates our circadian rhythms. When I don’t get enough spiritual light, I notice the difference. I don’t grow and thrive spiritually. One resource noted that light increases fertility and eases pain. The light of the Lord makes me a more fertile Christian. When I am getting my daily dose of Light I am more likely to share with others. And oh how Light eases the pain of living in a fallen world. I often wonder how non Believers survive.
Third truth: Light helps us see. There is a good deal of neurobiology involving light and vision, but the simple truth is we cannot see without light. One of my favorite hymns is Be Thou My Vision. God as Light helps me see things from His perspective. The Light helps me see people through His eyes. It reveals dangers that are hidden in the darkness and it keeps me from stumbling, from sinning. Light directs my feet and keeps me on the right path and takes me in the direction He has for my life.
Fourth truth: Light purifies. Light, especially the ultraviolet component, sterilizes. It kills germs and keeps things free from microbes. The Light (Jesus) cleanses me from the contamination of sin. Scripture tells us that if we walk in the Light the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
Fifth truth: Light allows us to see color. In darkness we can see no colors because we need light in order to perceive color. This gets into biophysics, which is a lot of blah, blah, blah to me, but colors have spectra. Some spectra are absorbed and others are reflected. The reflected color falls on our eyeballs and sends a signal to the brain, where we perceive color. I knew there had to be a spiritual application here so I thought about all the colors of God. If you ever want to do a study on this, a good place to begin is Exodus, where God gives instructions for the tabernacle and the priestly garments. He instructs the use of specific colors, representing the deity of Christ…gold for His glory and holiness, red for His redeeming blood, purple for His kingship, and silver for redemption. Once we have the Light (Jesus), we can begin to see God in His fullness. The Light allows us to see more of who He is.
I guess I could go on and on about light, but this is probably enough for now. If I studied for the rest of my life I could never learn every spiritual truth about light. That’s because God’s Word is inexhaustible. When Jesus referred to himself as the Light of the World there was so much truth and power packed into that declaration! Thank you, Father for sending the Light into our dark world.
Light of the world, illumine me.