God Is Light

“You shall also make a lampstand of pure gold; the lampstand shall be of hammered work. Its shaft, its branches, its bowls, its ornamental knobs, and flowers shall be of one piece.” Exodus 25:31

When I was a boy my father set up a darkroom in our house so that he could develop his own film. For several years he and kids from the elementary schools and pathfinder clubs where he taught photography classes would crowd into that little darkroom and process their film and from the negatives make prints of the pictures they had taken.

Most of the process had to be done with only the light from a red colored lamp providing light to see. But there was one stage where there could be no light at all. That was the stage when you transferred the film from the canister it was in when you bought it to the container it would be developed in. You had to open the film canister, find the developing container, carefully take the film out of the canister and put it into the container, and locate the lid for the container and secure it in place all in total darkness. Once it was safely closed inside that developing container, protected from all light, you could turn the light on.

It’s after you’ve been working in complete darkness that you truly appreciate having light so that you can see. I can imagine, but just barely, how it must be for someone who is blind to live their lives in darkness.

Many times in scripture God is associated with light. On the first day of creation God created the light. In Exodus God’s presence was a pillar of fire by night providing both warmth and light to the children of Israel. In Psalm 119 King David extols God’s word as being a “lamp unto his feet and a light unto his path. John, in his gospel, says that Jesus had light in him and that that light was the life of men. In his first letter, John thrills us that “God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.” As we come to the end of the book of Revelation we read that in the New Earth there won’t be a night and they won’t need the light of a lamp or of the sun because the Lord will be the light.

With God as part of your life there doesn’t need to be any brash plowing ahead not sure of the results our actions will bring. Neither does there need to be any tentative, fearful efforts as we try to accomplish something without making a mess of everything. In the light of God’s presence, shining in our lives, we can be confident in what we’re doing and where we’re going because we can see the path ahead.

It can be an interesting exercise to try and work in the dark but it’s far easier to live and work in the light. God calls us to stay close to him and walk in his light. And in Matthew chapter five he says that if we stick with him we’ll become light to the world.

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