Sunday Morning Live Stream Worship 11:15 AM
A Light in the Darkness
By Mary F. Di Stefano Diaz
“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give us the Light of the knowledge of the glory and majesty of God [clearly revealed] in the face of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6 AMP
At one time or another, we children of the living God find ourselves enveloped in circumstances which, knowingly or unknowingly, have placed us in mental, emotional, or spiritual states of “darkness.” These states of “darkness” may have even overtaken us to such critical degrees as to cause us to question our sanity—filling our souls with emptiness, loneliness, or feelings of abandonment—overtaking us to the point of possibly causing a type of spiritual “implosion” or “melt-down,” thus leaving us unable to find any “light” at the end of the proverbial “tunnel.” No matter the state of momentary “darkness” in which we may have found ourselves, it is through our salvation in Jesus Christ that God has placed in each of His children a unique “light,” intended to be seen by everyone and intended to point to God Himself. What “light”? How can such a God-given “light” shine through our brokenness?
Navigating through our personal times of “darkness,” we often have difficulty imagining how our God-produced internal “light” can possibly shine on others when everything around us seems to be in a state of being swallowed up by the personal “darkness” in which we see ourselves. When the Holy Spirit dwells in us, i.e. when God in His mercy has saved us from the spiritual “darkness” of certain doom resulting from our innate sin nature, it is through wholehearted faith in our Sovereign Savior that the spiritual “darkness” within which we have lived up until our salvation has already been forever “pierced” by the beaten, bruised, nail-scarred body of Jesus Christ Himself. In Matthew 4:16, Jesus clarifies the state of spiritual “darkness” out of which have emerged those who have received God’s salvation through faith in Him—the Light which has “dawned” on them.
“The people who were sitting (living) in [spiritual] darkness have seen a great Light, And for those who were sitting (living) in the land and shadow of [spiritual and moral] death, Upon them a Light has dawned.” (Matthew 4:16 AMP).
Jesus later specifies the purpose He has assigned to the “light” shining out from true believers whose hearts have been filled with His saving grace, illuminating their paths from their state of spiritual “darkness.” After all, the “light” He has given us is meant to be seen clearly.
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 AMP).
Having this “light,” how can we believers shine such “light” in a world around us bathed in “darkness,” suffering, and unbelief? Our “light” may shine when we communicate our hurts/our challenges to one another through reconciliation of broken relationships among brothers and sisters in Christ. Our “light” may shine when we demonstrate God’s steadfast love for us as we invite others to join us in prayer and supplication, seeking God on our “pilgrimage” of sanctification through the heart-wrenching events that threaten to derail our faith as we cry out together to God through our personal physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual times of suffering—our “dark” moments in life. Our “light” may shine through the minuscule or extraordinary kindnesses God performs through us as we expect nothing in return for these kindnesses shown. Our “light” may shine through a silent embrace shared as a gesture of comfort or consolation for the death of a loved one, for an unexpected, shocking medical diagnosis, for a blind-siding, spiraling crisis of anxiety coupled with deep depression, or for a shamed victim suffering from countless physical, emotional, and moral scars due to violence and abuse. Our “light” may shine through our material and non-material gifts in support of the disadvantaged, the marginalized, the poor, the widow, the orphan, the home-based or overseas missionary. Our “light” may shine as we offer our time and energy to assisting a frazzled, disoriented first-time mother struggling to raise her child, a single parent challenged with raising children alone, a parent grieving over a child—small, adolescent, or adult—lost to a tragic physical, emotional, social, or spiritual malady no one saw coming. Our “light” may also shine as we joyfully submit to God’s Sovereign Will—be what It may—asking God to place us where the “light” He gave us may shine to its fullest for His glory. Jesus clearly and definitively explains where and how our “light” shines best:
“No one lights a lamp and then puts it in a cellar nor under a basket [hiding the light], but [instead it is put] on the lamp stand, so that those who come in may see the light. The eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is clear [spiritually perceptive, focused on God], your whole body also is full of light [benefiting from God’s precepts]. But when it is bad [spiritually blind], your body also is full of darkness [devoid of God’s word]. Be careful, therefore, that the light that is in you is not darkness. So if your whole body is illuminated, with no dark part, it will be entirely bright [with light], as when the lamp gives you light with its bright rays.” (Luke 11:33-36 AMP)
As a child of God, I invite us—you and me—to take a long, hard look at our precious God-given “light.” Let us be intentional in radiating the unique “light” Jesus paid dearly for us to shine for God’s glory so that anyone who sees us acknowledges God’s eternal love in and through us. That “light” that we have was placed in us through Jesus Christ, Who laid down His life for us and Who sent us His Holy Spirit to inhabit our lives through our faith in Him in order to care for others. What undeserved mercy and love Jesus poured into us! His “light”/His life saved us and shines through us. Infinitely and omnipotently “powered” by the Holy Spirit, His “light” we have received by faith will never be taken away from His chosen, so how can anyone see our “light”? Well, brother and sister in Christ, we “let it shine…let it shine…let it shine…all the time…” through His love for His glory alone.
Written by Mary Diaz.
Mary Diaz has been an active member of Park Road Pres for many years. She serves in the women’s ministry, SALT ministry, and leads a Monday evening Bible Study with us. If you would like to discuss this article, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org