I think I was three or four years old. Waking up one night in the dark, the way out of my bedroom seemed hidden from me. With the desperation of a lost child I groped around the walls several times but the door just seemed like another wall. So I cried out. Almost immediately the light came on and the door lit up! As I made my way to the top of the stairs, I found my dad running up the stairs to rescue me. Many years later, being the mom this time, I often woke up our son, Joel, with this joyful quote from Isaiah, "Arise and shine for your Light has come and the glory of the LORD will rise upon you!" I'm not sure it was so greatly received but it seemed to me to be an energizing way to start the day.
Today I read in Isaiah 9:2: The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
John 8:12 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."
But I felt hopeful this morning when I read that Jesus came as a baby to banish the darkness. The angels opened the night sky and, with shining magnificence, announced, "Today a Savior has been born!"
Heading to church, looking forward to worship and fellowship, I thought about that light and how amazing it is to know this truth and to celebrate it... especially at Christmas time. Jesus, the LIGHT of the world entered our humanity to become a person and to live and die so that we don't have to live in darkness, caught in sin with no way out. There is a light that can keep us from wandering around and around. There is a rescuer heading up the stairs! It doesn't have to stay dark forever.
But pretty quickly I realize where that darkness lies. I found one in need of saving.
An impatient response, a slight offense, decisions that need to be made, and I find that I carry my own darkness. Anxiety and irritation surface in me so easily and find myself heading home, discouraged. Ugliness is not only "out there."
I like to think of Christ coming to illuminate the world with his brilliance. There are many who are filled with such ugly darkness and need Him desperately. But I'm not so keen on finding that blackness within my own heart. I want to be different. But I find that Jesus came into our world in the midst of our own inability to overcome the dusk. He did it for us. We can sluggishly arise and shine to find it already done.
So whether it is a dark room, a sleepy son or an anxious, irritated me, He came to be the rescue we so desperately need. He shines the light of His truth, his work, his life saving grace to cover us all. I can be at peace, changed, rescued and set free. His Savior-Light makes all the difference.