Adjusting To Shadows

It’s been a beautiful week of sunshine and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being outside.  I’ve had loads of fun doing some yard work (yes I really love mowing grass and trimming branches and bushes) and I got to feed the neighbor’s donkeys while they were away.  I love donkeys.  I’m an overall animal lover and nature lover.

At one point in the week I decided it would be fun to take a walk in the woods.  Immediately behind our house is a forest of pine.  I stepped inside the line of trees and the contrast was amazing.  My eyes were met by complete darkness.  I looked back from where I had just stepped and there was the brilliance of sunshine.  I looked back into the woods again and blackness filled the air.  It was stark and chilling.  I couldn’t see clearly.  I was a bit uneasy and looked back at the sunshine.  That was much better.  I looked back at the woods and slowly my eyes were adjusting.  I could now see further into the woods.  The blackness was turning to shades of grey.  In a few more minutes my eyes could locate the other trees.  Even so, I didn’t take the walk in the woods.  I suddenly remembered that snakes are crawling (two weeks ago my mom and I came upon a rattlesnake in our front yard) so I decided to exit quickly.  I stepped out of the darkness and back into the light.  I heard myself let out a sigh of relief.  It really wasn’t fun adjusting to the darkness.

As I walked back to the house I thought about the contrast of dark and light that fills our physical world but it fills our spiritual world too.  We can spiritually be walking in the light of God’s  truth, full of joy and peace, when all of a sudden darkness puts itself in our path.  We feel uncomfortable.  We want to turn away, but we don’t.  We keep gazing into the darkness and before we know it we are telling ourselves it isn’t so scary, we won’t stay long, we can handle the darkness.  In our spiritual world, darkness is everything God is not.  When the darkness of this world lures us in, we are no longer walking in light.  It’s impossible to walk in light and darkness at the same time.

Take a look at I John 1:5-7  This is the message we heard from Jesus[a] and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

 Let us take care to remember there is nothing this world has to offer us that can ever equal what God Himself offers.  The darkness of this world always, without exception, leads us to unrest, worry, despair, feelings of low self-esteem, and weakness.  By contrast, the light of Jesus, without exception, leads us to joy in all situations, peace of heart no matter the difficulty of life, confidence in who we are, overall courage, and God’s own wisdom to lead us through anything.
Darkness can be alluring but it can never bring satisfaction.
Satisfaction only comes through the One who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…”
John 14:6