I love to hunt. It’s in my top-five favorite things to do. When I go hunting, I normally get up very early in the morning and head out to the stand. I want to get up before there is any light and, to do that, you have to get up around 4 a.m. At this time in the morning, out in the country, it is dark. Completely dark. I may or may not have walked into a few trees trying to get to my stand.
One day, it was darker than usual, and I couldn’t find my stand. I was worried I might spook the deer if I kept walking around so, after 20 minutes of looking and straining my eyes to catch the slightest bit of my deer stand, I took my phone out. I pointed the screen of my phone toward where I thought my deer stand was and then hit the home button. You would have thought that I had just set off a flare and started a bonfire. I could see everything, including my deer stand, which was 10 feet from me, straight in front of me.
In the darkness, I was blind. I couldn’t see 10 feet in front of me, and I think most of us have been there before. Not looking for a deer stand, but — spiritually speaking — we have been in the darkness without a clue where to look. But the remedy for darkness is light.
Again 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
What is darkness? It’s the absence of light. So, for those of us who are believers, we were in darkness at one point. We did not know Jesus. But then he broke through our darkness. But the light doesn’t just break through darkness. It also exposes those things that are in the dark.
There have been some really ugly things in my life that I would love to keep in the dark. However, the more that I follow Jesus, the more that the light exposes those things. I honestly thought that these things needed to stay in the dark, so that no one would see them and no one would be able to judge me for these mistakes. But what’s awesome about the light is it exposes those dark places for what they really are: worthless. And they have no room in my life. I spent more time focusing on hiding these things, instead of doing what needed to be done to expose them and release them.
Jesus knows all of the things we keep hidden and all of the mistakes we try to leave in the dark. But when we seek him, the light reveals what is really in those places: grace. I believe that is what he meant, by “they will have the light of life”. No matter what you are hiding, the Light will show forgiveness and, in that, we find freedom from the darkness.