Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of the light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them John 12:35-36 (NIV).
I usually sleep better in a dark room, knowing God is in control. His peace allows me to let go of all doubts and worries. I lean on the peace of God, confident that God made the darkness for us to pause and rest.
Recently, I woke up alone, noticing my room wasn’t the usual dark when I slept. The light sifted from the living room through the hall into the bedroom, interfering with my rest. I got up, walked down the hall, and entered the living room.
My husband, Ron, was in his recliner with his face directly under the bright ceiling light. He looked so peaceful that I decided against waking him. How is it possible for him to sleep right under the light? I turned around, retraced my footsteps, and climbed right back into bed. Yet, after a while, I realized I still couldn’t sleep. I was too sensitive to the light coming from the opposite room. Lying awake, I wondered how my husband wasn’t bothered by the light. While my awareness of a distant glow interrupted my sleep, the brightness above Ron’s head never bothered him. I realized it’d become easier for my husband to do this because he’d habitually fallen asleep under the light.
It occurred to me that my situation was similar to certain aspects of the spiritual realm. While the spiritual realm isn’t physically visible, some are acutely aware of its existence, while it’s indiscernible to others.
Within the spiritual realm, God exists, and he is light.
In Genesis, we learn that God created the heavens and the earth at a time when the earth was formless, empty, and dark. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Then He separated the light from the darkness and called the light “day” (Gen 1:1-2 NIV).
Here, we learn that light represents a physical and a spiritual entity. Also, throughout the bible and in life, there are many illustrations of how people handle the light available to them. These examples demonstrate that we often perceive in different ways. For example, a couple can walk together along a picturesque path. One may be oblivious to the beautiful sun-kissed day while the other person’s eyes take in each detail. Though both people stroll in the same direction, the goodness of God is unnoticed by one, while the other individual is aware of God’s creations and––light.
Although God’s light is everywhere, it’s also often ignored for various reasons, such as being too busy, becoming indifferent, or lacking knowledge. Therefore, it’s vital to ask ourselves the following questions:
• Am I aware of God’s light in my life and the lives of others?
• Does busyness distract me from missing crucial details to which I should pay attention?
• Has my heart grown indifferent to certain aspects of God?
• Do I lack knowledge regarding discerning God’s presence, and if so, what am I doing about it?
Ignoring God’s presence, intentional or unintentional, can lead to living a life where we become insensitive to God’s presence. Doing this repeatedly can cause our hearts to grow callous.
However, God’s invitation to believe and receive a life full of light and hope is available to each of us.
It's never too late to invite Christ into our lives. When we seek God's presence, we stay in the light, and even the things others may overlook become more apparent.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “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 NIV).
I am so thankful for the light that pierces through the darkness, bringing hope. Like the light that brightens a room, may your light shine in me, drawing others to you. Amen.
Do you want to develop in your discernment of God’s presence? Are there ways you’ve developed doing this? Please share!