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From Darkness to Light

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I remember a few years ago when I was at our cottage with my kids, and we drove the boat down the lake to visit some people at a nearby camp. By the time we left, it was dark. I hadn’t thought of what it would be like to be on the water in the dark. There were not many cottages on our lake at the time, so the shoreline was pitch black. I couldn’t tell the difference between the water and the land. The sky was also pitch black, clouded over with no shining moon. It was frightening, to say the least. To make matters worse, I could not find the flashlight that was supposed to be in every boat as a safety requirement! And I hadn’t remembered to leave a light on in my own cottage to guide me home.  

As I headed out on the water in total blackness, I strained to look ahead. Suddenly, a small light appeared, coming from a cottage up on a hill not too far from our cottage. That little beacon became my guide. I knew if I pointed the boat directly in line with it, I would avoid any shorelines, and I could then find my dock. I remember the relief when I slowly came up to our dock and parked the boat without incident. That small light from that cottage broke through all the surrounding darkness and showed us the way home.  

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)

Jesus broke through the darkness of this world, the darkness of sin that had separated us from God, the darkness of the demonic forces that were working against our knowledge of God to show us the way home. Without Jesus, we would be lost in the dark, out on the water, floating aimlessly, afraid and alone. He shows us the way out of our darkness and our brokenness. And in the next chapter, Jesus demonstrated this by healing a blind man: 

“While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. (John 9:5-7)

When we follow Jesus, who is the light, He frees us from darkness, heals our spiritual blindness, and leads us safely home to the Father. Unfortunately, not everyone welcomes the light:

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19)

Satan wants to keep us away from the light, and sin has a way of blinding us. Because of our shame, we choose to hide in the dark. We don’t want to be exposed. When Jesus says He is light, it is to deliver us to safety, free us from shame, and bring us home to the Father. Just as a boat needs a lighthouse to safely reach a port at night, we need Jesus to light the way for us through the Bible and by His Spirit. If you’re feeling lost on the waters of life, look to Jesus, who is the way home—because that’s courageous living:

Jesus, Light of the World, guide my steps. When the way is unclear, and darkness surrounds me, light my path and grant me wisdom and trust to follow You.


Scripture is quoted from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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About The Author

Lorie Hartshorn

Lorie Hartshorn is an international Christian speaker and Finding Freedom Bible study author. She inspires, encourages, and challenges, as her primary passion is to make Jesus known. She has spent over 25 years educating, training, and developing leaders, as she's passionate about seeing people grow in faith and experience spiritual freedom.

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