Recently, my friend Sigrid made what I’m sure was a borrowed, yet profound statement. I have found myself meditating on it much through the various situations I’ve encountered since hearing it:
“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”
Read that again and take time to let it really sink in.
There is no question we are living in a world where darkness is escalating all around us. Since hearing this statement, I’ve pondered several reactions I’ve seen in people to darkness.
The first reaction is to just turn a blind eye and ignore it. But that is a very dangerous thing to do, at least in some instances. For when you do so, the darkness tends to grow and innocent people are invariably hurt by it.
The second and most common reaction is to curse the darkness. It is hard not to do this, when we see so many things wrong in the people and world around us. We either retreat into feelings of powerlessness and frustration, or we complain to others, thinking somehow if we can find others who agree with our assessment of things, we can at least take some comfort in that – as they say, “misery loves company.”
But neither of these things has any affect on dispelling the darkness. The only thing that can do that is to bring light. Why do so many people not choose that option? Because it involves action and possibly even change on our parts. Change in how we think, respond or deal with things.
However, being “light bearers” is exactly what Jesus calls us to be in this world. Take these scriptures for example:
Isaiah 58:10 – “and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.“
John 12:46 – “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.“
Ephesians 5:8 – “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.”
Ephesians 5:11 – “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”
1 Thessalonians 5:5 – “You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.“
1 John 1:5 – “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.“
Matthew 5:16 – “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.“
Sometimes bringing light means nothing more than praying over a specific person or situation. Often times, God waits for us to be the ones to act, simply by inviting His presence and Kingdom to invade the darkness. Ezekiel 22:30 says, “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.”
Several years ago, back in my hometown of Dallas TX, I was privileged to be present at the very beginnings of a group of people who gathered in what was known as the heart of the homosexual community. One man had heard from the Lord a few years prior, that at some point in time he would be provided with “a fully furnished upper room.” Without going into all the amazing details of how that finally came to pass, when it then emerged in this part of Dallas, the man just called a few people to join him in that place to pray and seek God’s purposes. What started with a small group of praying people, grew to an even larger, vibrant prayer community and eventually evolved into a large church where many, many people who were in that lifestyle have come and found healing, deliverance and freedom. The church outgrew its original location and recently moved to another, but even with multiple services, it is quickly outgrowing that space as well. In a part of town that many people would curse and avoid, these people are bringing God’s light and transformational love into the darkness.
Below is a song that I have enjoyed listening to in my play list for some time now. It is a perfect encouragement towards reminding me what I was placed on this earth to do – will you join me?