Toward The Light
After many days of being up late and having to get up early in the morning, I finally fell asleep tonight at nearly sundown and woke up 4 hours later. The house was dark and as I was walking toward the light switch on the wall across the room I realized I was being guided by a tiny LED light from the cable connector in the linen closet directly across from the door to my bedroom. So, I decided to not turn on the light, but to see if there was a light from the hallway to guide me into the living room and there was. It was still dark in the house, but there was a faint reflection of light on the floor of the living room. The source of it was the light from the street lamp outside sinning through the blinds in the large window in the dining room.
I made my way to the lamp next to the sofa and as I switch on the light I thought, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
Since I had not been outside all day I went out to check the mail. It was dark, so I turned on the outside lights. There were the usual nighttime noises for this time of year. No one was out, but there were a lot of tiny popping sounds that I couldn’t identify immediately. As I took the mail out of the box and started to walk up the driveway back to the house I looked down and there on the pavement were dozens and dozens of fireflies (beetles) but they were not illuminating. I found out later there is a certain species of them that don’t light up. So much for calling them “lightning bugs.” They were just squirming on their backs on the ground. They were also crashing into the house and hitting the ground with a pop as though their navigation sensors were also impaired.
The incident added to my thoughts about light in dark places. From my experience growing up in southern Georgia “lightning bugs” (fireflies) at night in the summer time put on a dazzling display of acrobatic illuminations. Seeing these with no illumination made me think of the fig tree with no fruit that Jesus and His disciples encountered that day on their way from Bethany to Jerusalem.
“And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it. … And when even was come, he went out of the city. And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.” Mark 11:12-21
When things that should illuminate lose their ability to do so they fail to provide light for those who need them to be able to move through the darkness and come to a place of fuller illumination.
We are called to be light bearers, that is, to be carriers and voices of the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that shines in His face and now shines in our hearts, so that as we speak we bring forth light to the world. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their failure to live and to speak the truth to the people.
“O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Matthew 12:34
Because their hearts were full of darkness, that’s what came out of their mouths.
We, who are born again by the Spirit of God through water and the Word by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, have within our hearts now the same light of the Gospel that shines in Jesus’ face, so that when we speak we must choose words that proceed from our hearts that they can bring light to those who walk in darkness.
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6
Unlike the non-illuminating fireflies that can’t glow in the dark, we get to choose whether we glow or keep our lights hidden. What we say from our heart will reveal what is in it. Light will come forth from the Words of life, from the Good News, from the Gospel shinning in our hearts.
“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.” Matthew 5:13-15