Summary: Children often want darkness removed because they fear what they cannot see. For adults the darkness is more of a friend. Jesus is the remover of darkness but the light of the world is still waiting for many to see it. Sometimes it is hard even for Christ
Open up the yellow pages and you can find a ton of listings that will remove pretty much whatever you want removed. There are ads for chimney sweeps to remove built up grime. There are people willing and able to remove insects, weeds, garbage, wallpaper, old fixtures, homes, cars and even bad husbands. Humanity can boast in their wisdom to remove pretty much anything we want removed. Yet humanity failed to have wisdom enough to remove the one thing that I needed removed, time and time again.
As a child I was terrified of it, especially during a storm and on nights when my parents were not home. I remember a moment when I was in need of something to help me remove it but, I had no idea where to look. The solution I needed was no where to be found and I knew I could not call anyone who would be readily to remove what moved me to be deathly afraid.
Darkness is what I was afraid of and darkness is the one thing that man could not remove. Oh sure we can turn the lights on but, the light is only a temporary fix. On those rare occasions when darkness filled my home and I knew where the flashlight was, I was still afraid. The light could only displace what it touched. Therefore, the darkness still existed beyond the light. I would toss the faded beam of light all around me, at any odd sound and wherever my artificial light was, there was the darkness waiting.
I hated the darkness. I wanted it gone and I figured everyone around me wanted the darkness gone as well. So, you can imagine my surprise when I heard that Jesus said of man, “that men loved the darkness instead of the light.” Why would anyone love darkness? I felt there must be some mistake because if humanity indeed loved darkness then why did we bother with street lamps? Why light up as many areas of darkness as we possibly can? Humanity has created so many ways to diffuse the darkness, it just made no sense to me that Jesus said we loved what we continually tried to cover over.
You would think that if we were continually trying to find new ways to cover over the darkness around us, that we should have jumped for Joy when Jesus told us, “Light has come into the world.” Light! That’s what I wanted as a child. I wanted light to get rid of the darkness. I wanted light to be on hand when I had to walk home at night, fearing what might jump out at me from around the corner. I wanted light because wherever the light was, I felt safe. Why is it that humanity does not want to feel safe? Why is it that we love the darkness where all sorts of bad things can happen? This love of darkness made no sense to me as a child and you know, it still makes no sense.
I know, I know…when Jesus arrived on this world he did not glow in such a way that wherever he went there was a physical light instead of darkness. Although the thought of Jesus walking with me, lighting the way for me in the darkness, was quite appealing, I soon learned that the darkness Jesus was talking about was of mind and body. Jesus is Lord. Jesus is my Savior but Jesus is not my flashlight! But if humanity worked so hard to bring as much light in the midst of darkness, why do we not continue on that path and seek light in our spiritual darkness? Why is it, that so many indeed cling to darkness?
Jesus answered that question for me as well. He said, “Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear of being exposed.” Those who continue to write grafitti on the shack on church property, do so in the darkness. Those who steal do so in the darkness. Those who seek to harm others often seek to do so where there is the least amount of light and those who fail to love Jesus do so because they are still in darkness. Welcoming the light of Christ means they have to give up their darkened ways.
When a person lives for the light of Christ, what they are doing is saying, “I will live for Jesus and for what he wants and for what he offers. I will not trust in my own understanding and even when it seems that God is doing something in my life I do not understand, I will still stick with the light of Christ rather than go back to my darkened understanding.
The people of God, who were directed by Moses tried to have it both ways. They would say that they wanted to live under God, yet the continued to go back to the darkness just as soon as something did not go the way they wanted. Take the time when God’s people started complaining because Moses would not engage Edom in battle. Scripture tells us that the people of God became impatient with God and spoke out against God. They used that same old lame line saying, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”