Light and Darkness

The opposite of light is darkness.  While an obvious statement, I wonder if you have ever considered what darkness really is?  The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines darkness as the “absence of light,” and dark as being “devoid or partially devoid of light: not receiving, reflecting, transmitting, or radiating light.”[1]  While there is much beauty in the night sky, or in a quiet evening with loved ones, darkness typically suggests hidden or scary things and provides a covering for many of the evil deeds that humans commit against each other.  More often than not, children are naturally afraid of the dark, and almost all people choose to regularly use some form of light to see during the dark hours of the day.

Light is indeed essential to all life, because light provides life, clarity, health, heat, and energy.  While the Sun provides light and life for the physical world, in the spiritual world the Bible tells us, “that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).[2]  Also, Jesus announced, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

In our physical world, mankind has creatively found ways to harness solar energy and to continue using this energy even after the Sun has set.  But, how do followers of Christ access His light?  The psalmist tells us, “in thy light shall we see light” and “thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Ps 36:9b, 119:105). People become children of light when they deliberately choose to follow Jesus, and a Christian continues to find light for each step of his or her journey through life by spending time in God’s light, which is His Word.

As in the example of day and night, there are different degrees of light, and the lack of light increases the amount of darkness.  Author Chris Adsit explains, that “no one can measure darkness, but light is easily measured by various instruments.”[3]  It is the same with our spiritual lives; darkness occupies all areas that do not contain light.  The more we choose to spend time in God’s Word and embrace His light, the less the darkness will occupy our lives, and through association, less darkness will consequently occupy our world.

Furthermore, the 1 John passage continues to explain that “if we say that we have fellowship with him (God), and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:6-7).  It is important to remember that fellowship with God is only found within the light, and never in darkness.  His light, however, must be freely chosen and actively pursued by each individual, because fellowship with God requires active choice, and a lack of this choice results in increased darkness.  I pray that each of us will deliberately choose God’s light for our own lives, not only today, but each and every day.


[1]Merriam-Webster Dictionary (online), “Dark,” accessed December 18, 2018, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dark.

[2]Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passage references are in the King James Version (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996).

[3]Chris Adsit, The Combat Trauma Healing Manual: Christ-centered Solutions for Combat Trauma (Newport, VA: Military Ministry Press, 2008), 19, ISBN: 9781419678202.