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Friday, February 17, 2017

Light is the symbol of truth

James Russell Lowell penned, "Light is the symbol of truth." Why do you suppose he said that? Maybe it is because when truth becomes known it is as though what was once hidden in the darkness is suddenly manifest, as when a light comes on in a dark room.  Perhaps it is because when we think of the paradox of good and evil, we think of one as pure and clean, while the other is dark and murky. If we are believers, we see evidence of "light" in all that God is and does - his character is that of truth. It is impossible for God to be untruthful, for all his essence is that of light!

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12 NLT)

Light leads us somewhere - it leads us out of darkness. Where light is, darkness cannot prevail. Where shadows exist, it is only because there is light. When truth is revealed, all that once was murky and kind of dark takes on its true form or character. In the dark, the image I see before me seems ominous. In turning on the light, I see the looming dark figure as the artificial ficus tree! It isn't anything to fear, but in the dark, it took on a different "form" than it did in the light, so I could not be sure it wouldn't be something that would hurt me. Much of life is like this for us - things hidden in darkness seem ominous until Jesus begins to shed light, revealing the things we once "feared" as simply obstacles we can overcome!

Look at what Jesus said again - if you follow him, you won't HAVE TO walk in darkness. If we take that literally, it could mean that much of the time we "settle into" the darkness around us because we think we have to somehow "feel our way through it". We don't ask for light, but simply think we must "deal" with the darkness - walking in it despite our discomfort with it. We only need to do as Jesus indicates - follow him, not IN the darkness, but OUT of it. His life is one of light - to embrace his life is to embrace light. To have his light is to have truth - to be embraced by truth is to be free of all things dark and murky!

Light doesn't just keep us where we are - it leads us somewhere. As Jesus said, it leads to life - to a place of full and complete living. We often settle for less than what he desires for us - simply because we refuse to follow him to the path that leads into life. Eternal life isn't in just in the hereafter - it begins the moment we exchange darkness for light - the moment truth begins to permeate the fibers of our being. In turn, we begin to move away from all things dark and murky into more and more light (truth). We exchange the lies of this present life for the truth of what becomes unending life in his light.

We don't have to settle for muddling through darkness. Whether it is a decision we must make that seems way to hard for us to figure out on our own, or a dark season of hurt and pain we have been muddling through without much success - he is light and he gives truth. We need only do as he says - follow him out of that darkness. This means we don't muddle through on our own anymore, but squarely admit our fear of the "ominous stuff" in our way, and allow him to show us it isn't anything to be feared. Just sayin!