The Kingdom of Light

“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)

Have you ever been in pitch-black darkness? The kind where light pollution does not exist and you literally cannot see your hand directly in front of your face? South Sudan was like that at night. Rural, no electricity for anyone except and occasional generator. We had solar, but when you walked far enough away from our houses, the dim light coming from them did nothing to dispel the deep darkness of the night. I had never experienced anything like that previous, and I have not again.

Often I would find myself walking back from the church office to our compound in the dark on just a tiny dirt path that had been hacked away by the man we hired to keep the “nature” of the compound under control. I knew there were snakes – lots of them and many of those poisonous. There we also scorpions and safari ants – both super small, yet excruciating if you stepped on them. Some of the other, bigger wildlife around were not things I wanted to see in daylight, let alone meet in the dark.

While I was usually on high alert, and I would use my phone or a head lamp for light, my view in front of and around me was limited. I would always feel a sense of relief as I stepped into the small beam of light coming from one of our windows.

We put up solar powered lights all around the house – hanging from the roof like little twinkling stars beckoning us home into safety. From a distance you could see them barely twinkling, but as you moved closer they looked like magic in the darkness. They were the talk of the town when we first put them up! Many people loved them and asked us to give them some!

I was walking in darkness- pitch black, inky, all-enfolding. Real dangers were all around. Sometimes I feel that way here – in the middle of the city or at camp – everywhere we go has dark spilling in and overtaking, it seems. Sometimes as I look at my kids and my loved ones I feel as though we might be in danger of being swallowed up in it, with no way out; all hope gone.

When I feel this way, I have one of two choices. I can allow the circumstances around me and the emotions they bring up to define who I think God is. I admit that this is often my initial response. It causes me to sink deeper into my anxiety and stay in bondage for much longer. Or I can believe his word. “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105) If I choose this way, then I am turning it back around and allowing God’s very word to define who he is. Then truth starts to settle in, dispel the dark and the lies, and peace takes root. The circumstances may not have changed, but I am seeing the light in the middle of the darkness.

Sometimes that light is a little bit like the twinkling fairy lights in the distance of a dark landscape littered with danger. I keep walking forward knowing that I am heading in the right direction. Other times it is a bit like I’ve been sitting in a pitch-black room and a spotlight is suddenly turned on directly in my face. I am startled, blinded by the sudden brightness, but slowly my eyes adjust and I can see the reality around me. Nothing is hidden, and I am safe and there isn’t a speck of darkness anywhere.

“In him was the life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5) I am so thankful I serve God, who is the ruler of the Kingdom of Light.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s