Summary: A camping trip opens up to me the powerful insight of the opening words of John.

A Walk in the Dark

John 1:1-9

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.

The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.


One day I was camping alone and sat at a creek in my camp just after finishing dinner. Now I did not want to build a fire as I was tired from the days hike, and was soon to go to bed. I just sat on a rock and stared into the creek. I noticed the creek looked different during the day then at night.

At night, the sounds were louder and much more pronounced. The water was less inviting, harsher to my senses and cold, very cold. I could hear the insects and frogs nearby but could not see them. In fact I could not make out even basic shapes other than the trees and rocks nearby. As I went to bed I closed my tent and thought of how lonely I was feeling. I was comforted only by the fact that I was warm in my tent and sleeping bag; another day was to begin soon and I was longing for it. I finally drifted off to sleep.

In the morning when I got up the same creek was out the door to greet me again. This time as I sat upon the rock I could see the creek from a different perspective then the night previous. The smells and sight were different as well. The morning sounds comforted me, and the creek shined as if a million emeralds danced upon it surface from the light streaming through the trees. Many beautiful colors were there to greet my morning.

God surely did bless me with the ability to see, feel, taste, hear and sense the little creek that day. How it is so much like the lessons of life when we stop and read the message.

When reading the Bible I often try to insert myself into the verses and times of the story. John 1 is no different. I can imagine the day John had placed it on the scrolls, searching for words to begin his version of the greatest story even told. Searching in his mind how best to express an inconceivable life of his Master with the mere toys of words left to him. John chose to let the Holy Spirit describe the indescribable Light that has come into the world. Light and Word are funny terms by human standards to tell of anyone.

Yet Jesus was well described by these words from John 1. So, much as the little creek of long ago in my own memories. To be there and to describe what I saw are to different things. It is difficult to find words to use for the description. Yet John was given the words to use that strikes back at that darkness in the world.

The Word became flesh and walked for a time among us. He was the light of the world that shone into the darkness.

Notice that darkness is overcome by light, not light overcome by darkness. Darkness cannot do anything but bow down to light. And Jesus came so that we can understand light. Darkness itself will never get it because of its nature to hide and be in shadows.

Yet, people can get used to darkness. Used to living without light because it is familiar to them. Notice I am not saying friendly, just familiar. When I looked into that creek at night it was not comforting, it was cold and the noises were harsh. It did heighten the sound senses but at the expense of the other senses I normally use.

Darkness can mask your vision. All the things that you can normally see during the time of light is still there, you just cannot focus or see them.

I am using the physical example of light and darkness to awaken your full senses to what John was saying. The Light of the world was in both realms. He overcame so you can see clearly.

Some people ignore this fact and still live in darkness, not knowing there is a way out. Stepping from darkness to light is a big step. It requires you to step out of your place of familiarity and into the unknown. When you shine light in the darkness of your soul it can even get a little uncomfortable because darkness likes to keep things out of focus and blurred. Yet what wonders you will see after you make the step! What colors will come to your long blinded eyes when you look into the reflection of the water and see Him. Your senses are heightened to truth for the first time; like a thousand emeralds shining all at once.

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