Sometimes you have to turn off the lights to get a better view…
Since the spring daylight saving, every morning I wake up and darkness still quietly lingers around the house. I turn on the lights in the living room and kitchen and begin to cook breakfast for my family. When I look out the back window from the kitchen, I can barely see lights of cars passing down the neighborhood streets. The normal scene of my backyard— fences, the trees, the lake and other houses— are all shrouded in shadows.
“So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth” (1 John 1.6 NLT).
One morning, I got up early, and as I walked into the kitchen, the window blinds were already open. I hadn’t turned on any of the kitchen lights, so my eyes were able to focus on the illumination just outside my door. I could see street lights, car lights and house lights surrounding me, and I gained a clearer view of my backyard. Once I turned on the lights in the kitchen, however, the vision instantly vanished.
“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine” (Isaiah 9.2 NLT).
I turned off the lights again and gazed through the window once more. I was so impressed with how much I could perceive. I saw cars driving passengers to work, water fowl taking in an early swim in the lake and the soft glow of stars in the distant, dark sky. I found it so amazing that I stood on the cusp of two worlds—the inside world and the outside world. When I turned on the kitchen lights, the outside world faded. When I turned off the kitchen lights, the outside world came alive.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1.5 NIV).
I thought of the spiritual applications of the light. As humans, we are beings of both spirit and flesh, and we stand on the cusp of two worlds: the spiritual and physical realms. Many times, God’s movements seem shrouded in the shadows, and we feel like His direction for our lives is somehow lost in dark. But I wonder what would happen if we turned off the lights to our flesh and earthly security? Would our hazy view of eternity and God’s plan become clearer?
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves” (Colossians 1.13 NIV).
Jesus is the great Light in the darkness. He is not hidden, and He is not invisible. Maybe the reason we can’t see Him for a time is because He is walking the parameter of our lives, teaching us how to dim the inside lights of our flesh. He wants to expand our awareness of eternity, so He walks to farther corners of our view, so we can stretch and grow to see Him. We will always be people of two worlds until we reach heaven. Until then, if we are struggling to see Jesus, we may have to dim the lights of the physical world, so the spiritual world can become brighter in our sight.
“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” (John 8.12 NIV).