Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions. (Airing daily on Hope 103.2 and Inspire Digital at 9am)
I recall as a child one night being a passenger in the car with my mother and sister out in the country. Suddenly the car broke down. We came to a halt—it was pitch black. No lights. We were stuck—and so we had to walk. It was a frightening experience. But somehow our mother got us home again. Being in the dark is frightening and scary.
Do you remember back to 2010 in Chile when 33 miners were trapped underground in Northern Chile?
The media covered the event, so everyone around the world knew what was happening. Emergency officials couldn’t communicate with the trapped men for 16 days. The rescue took 69 days. They endured intense heat, starvation, thirst, and had to stay sane while fighting panic. They thought they would die trapped deep underground. As the 33 men were rescued, they had to wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from daylight. They had lived in darkness for so long.
Robert Fulghum, author of the book All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, visited an institute dedicated to reconciling Turks and Greeks on the island of Crete. At the end of the visit, he asked Alexandros Papanderos, a leader there, what the purpose of life was. Laughter followed, as those present thought this was a silly question. People started to get up from their seats to go home. Papanderos looked at Fulghum for a long time. He took the question seriously and indicated that he would give an answer.
After a while, Papanderos took from his wallet a small round mirror, about the size of a quarter. He said:
I was a small child during the war. One day, on the road I found a broken mirror and I kept the largest piece, this one. I began to play with it and I became fascinated with it. I noticed that it could reflect light into dark places where the sun would never shine, deep holes, crevices, dark closets.
I kept the little mirror and as a man, I grew to understand that this was not just a child’s game but a metaphor for what I could do with my life, namely that I am a fragment of a mirror whose whole design I do not know. With what I have, I can reflect light—truth, understanding, meaning, knowledge—into the black places in the hearts of men and change some things in some people. Perhaps others may see and do likewise. This is what I do.
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We too, reflect whatever light we can so we can give light to those who are in darkness.
The Light of the World
Martin Luther King Jr said many profound things during his life, and this one is no different. He said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.” Jesus says he is the Light of the world, the embodiment of how to know God and how to live life. You may feel your life is engulfed in darkness. You may feel bewildered at not having discovered the answer to life. Invite Christ into your life and the light will be turned on, no matter how much darkness you’ve experienced. Life will begin to make sense and you’ll be filled with hope and understanding.
Jesus said, “I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me may not remain in darkness” (John 12:46). I think many people would be shocked and offended if you told them they were living in the dark. And yet that’s what the Bible says. Jesus came as the light of the world, to give hope and purpose and meaning to each one of us. Why stumble along in the dark when you can have real and bright light?
The Bible says that outside of a relationship with Jesus Christ we are in what’s called in the Scriptures the domain of darkness. When we become Christians, Colossians in the New Testament says we’re transferred out of the domain of darkness and into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son. It’s in this moment that we’re moved out of darkness and into light.
If you’re not a Christian, the Bible is going to say that you walk in a type of spiritual blindness, that you just simply can’t see what is ultimate reality. You can see some things, but not what is ultimate. You can feel some things, but not what is ultimate. This is called the domain of darkness. It’s trying to navigate life without knowing what is ultimate reality. You can run and run and run, but who knows if you’re heading in the right direction?
Jesus is the Light of the World, and those who follow him will not walk in darkness but will walk in light. This is true, because he knows where he came from, and he knows where he’s going.