As a parent of a young child there is one great fear that we all face. It is the kind of fear that strikes people to the heart. This fear is real and palpable. You might think it is the fear that comes from wondering if your child will grow up well, but it's not. Maybe this fear is that you won't like their future spouse, that's not it either.
This fear that strikes at the heart of all parents is the fear of stepping on a lego in the dark. In the middle of the night you may have to get up some times, maybe you're thirsty or you need to use the restroom. As you begin to rise from the bed you begin to think, "Did junior play legos in here today?" If the answer is, "yes", you rethink your quest to get out of bed. If the answer is "no" you rise with confidence. If the answer is, "I don't remember," you are gripped with fear bordering on panic. Why? Because the pain of stepping on a lego in the dark is 1,000 times the pain of stepping on a lego in the light.
In darkness we don't know what we don't know. This leads to fear and doubt and anxiety. This fear of pain keeps us from moving into the darkness because we don't want to experience the pain.
Life is like that too. If we feel like we are living in the darkness it is really hard to move forward. We are afraid of the potential pain that awaits.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12, ESV)
When it comes to legos, Jesus is not much help. When it comes to living Jesus is all the help we need. He is the light that overcomes the darkness that we often find ourselves in. While he doesn't promise a pain free existence he offers light in the darkness. This light somehow eases the pain because we can stand against it.
It's like stepping on a lego. If you step on a lego in the light, it hurts. If you step on a lego in the dark, you wonder when you will need your foot amputated because you're surely near death. The same lego, the same foot, the difference is the light.
I have known many people who have walked through the pain and agony of cancer and other illnesses. I have known Christians and non-Christians. While both were brave and courageous, I am always amazed by the peace and hope that the Christians have had in the face of death. In the midst of the darkness they have light.
How about you? Are you living in light or in darkness?