Monday, November 29

Wandering in the Darkness

In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. --John 1:4-5

On Thanksgiving morning no sooner had I stepped out of the shower and fired up my hairdryer than half our apartment went dark. Brad and I stood in befuddled silence for about a minute. Despite the fact that we both have college degrees and are highly competent in our respective fields of study--science and music theory-- neither of us is the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to mechanical or electrical things. We left for church thinking that either the problem would resolve itself by the time we got home, or we'd just have to call the apartment complex's maintenance guy after the holiday.

The problem didn't resolve itself. Friday morning we placed a call to our apartment office explaning the situation. Without the use of a stove or lights in the kitchen, we "roughed it" with roast beef sandwiches from Arby's for dinner. The electric blanket on our bed now rendered useless, we braved the cold with extra throw blankets and long sleeved pajamas. We wondered in passing if this is what life was like for those pilgrims who had survived to celebrate the first Thanksgiving. Somehow we doubted it.

Saturday came and so did the maintenance guy. He deftly flipped a switch in the circuit breaker box, simulataneously restoring light to our apartment and making us cringe in embarassment. To our chagrin, we realized that the solution to our problem was right under our noses ( behind our bedroom door rather, ) the entire time.
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Some people in the Christian community behave in much the same way Brad and I did. They wander about in spiritual darkness, hoping for things to change. At best, they are passive in their attempts to seek out a lightsource. At worst, they are stagnant and either expect change to come on its own, or relegate themselves to the idea that the darkness is here to stay and nothing can be done about it.

The sad thing is, many of these people are far from incompetent. Understanding the goodness of who God is and recognizing the richness of his blessings is not beyond their capabilities. They are simply too entrenched in their own mindset to even open themselves up to the possibility that God can and will do great things in their lives. They fail to realize the Jesus is the light of the world. To believe in him is to permanently cast aside the world's darkness.

Plenty of things about God are difficult to grasp. There are parts of his character that cannot be understood because he is a divine being. However, there are things about God that we can know. He makes himself plain to us in his word. He sent his son to be the light of the world. He has revealed himself to many people over thousands of years, and those encounters are recorded in the Bible. If we fail to read God's word, if we fail to use it as a tool to help us dispel darkness, we are quite wretched in our ignorance.

Knowing God, believing in Jesus and living in the light is as simple as flipping a switch in the fusebox. God does not intend for us to wander around in darkness, fumbling through life and missing out on his blessings simply because we are too silly or stubborn to open up his word to learn about who is he. We all need to spend time learning about who God is. We need to read the Bible to understand why Jesus is the light of the world, and how Jesus' life, death and resurrection resores light to a generation living in darkness.

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