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
Hardships and challenges come at us from every direction. But if we follow Christ, we live with the Light of the world.
Some time ago I attended a home-fellowship gathering. Our church encourages its members to team up within the community on a regular basis. It’s a great idea. After dining, we gathered in the living room where the hostess introduced a way for everyone to become bettered acquainted. She explained the objective of the exercise was to select a picture card (from among several strewn on a coffee table) that would best represent your life at the moment.
The hostess volunteered to go first. She selected a picture card and lifted it for everyone to see. The picture showed a wall splattered with post-it-notes to which she said: “This is my life. It is filled with yellow stickys that guide me from one task to the next…there is no end.” As a mother of two, she knew the meaning of frazzled.
Next was an elderly man in his eighties. He lifted a picture card showing two older people. They were walking hand-in-hand down a pathway. He said, “This picture reminds me that my journey, and that of my wife, will soon be over; and that while there were many challenges along the way, the Lord met them all. The Lord is faithful.”
This older gentleman was a retired missionary. Both he and his wife spent the whole of their lives serving the Lord in Mali, Africa, giving up all (except each other) to share the Gospel. This is a great love story in more ways than one.
Another person lifted a picture card of a big box with a person sitting inside it. She felt boxed-in by life. We understood. A pastor lifted a picture of a clock and spoke about his obsession with time and the importance of always being on time no matter the occasion. His wife said it was an obsession. We chuckled. Another lifted a picture card about a doctor that led to discussion about her medical condition. We identified.
The last person to share was another elderly gentleman also living in the sunset of life. He selected a picture card showing a sunset on the ocean, and said, “This picture, for someone my age, might suggest a sunset. But not for me; you see, it’s a sunrise. I once lived in the darkness of life, blinded by deception, lost, confused and alone. I was afraid then and stumbled about with no purpose and no dawn to begin anew each day. After becoming a believer, my life changed and now every sunrise is an opportunity to walk in the Light.”
He went on to say, “Though I have lived through some stormy days since then, life at this moment (here with all of you) is overflowing with a glow. That glow is the afterglow from the resurrected Christ who abides in you and me, the risen Messiah.”
The older gentleman saw the sunrise as a type of resurrection in Christ (Galatians 2:20). Of course, he was right. Life for him, at that moment, was the light of Christ aglow in his heart. Of this light Jesus said, “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).
Surely, most everyone sees the world differently from one another. We live in personalized worlds. Some see only trouble and worry. Some see the potential in unknown tomorrows. Others look back treasuring the days from long ago. And while some see a sunset in life, others see a sunrise with the promise of a new day filled with the Light of world.
In closing, the Lord Jesus is light, an awesome being, full of truth and life. He is a beautiful person, a wonder to behold and a blessing to possess. He is infinite splendor and power and glory! He is your friend. He is my friend. He is Savior and Lord. Who can define Him? Who can imagine Him? Who can know the dimensions of His wonder and depth of His loving kindness?
While the fellowship event to select a picture card that best portrays one’s life at the moment was a thought-provoking exercise, it was also revealing. But what I liked best about this time of fellowship was the willingness of believers to share their trouble, pain, and hope while keeping focused on the One who is like the morning sunrise.
As the Apostle Paul said, we see dimly through a dark glass (1 Corinthians 13:12). Our gaze is upon a loving Being we can barely behold in the dawn of light. His promise to you and to me is: I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life (John 8:12).
Image Credit: NASA