I have seen the light!

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When I was a kid, I shared a bedroom with my two brothers. The bedroom wasn’t that large, but my father had built a very nice set of stacking bunks that gave each of us a place to sleep, a desk, some shelves, and drawers for our clothes. Actually, it was a pretty amazing bedroom and we didn’t really feel that cramped. Anyway, the three of us struggled to keep our room neat. In truth, there were times when there was no way to even walk across the room it was so cluttered. Despite the “urging” of our parents to clean the place up, it remained a constant challenge… at least until our Dad taught us a valuable lesson. One evening when we returned from after school activities, he had emptied our drawers, shelves, everything… and dumped it all in a pile in the middle of the floor. He told us he was tired of our mess and that we couldn’t leave the room until everything was back in its place. Well, so much for any other plans that evening… That event helped us to “see the light” and, though the room was never perfect, it was much neater after that.

What does it mean to “see the light”? The dictionary says it is to gain some new understanding, sometimes in a sudden and profound way. The origins of that phrase go back to the time of the birth of Jesus Christ.

You see, His coming was predicted several thousand years before that.

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”          Isaiah 9:2

The world was experiencing a period of darkness when God decided it was time to send His only Son to earth in the form of a baby on that first Christmas morning. God even announced to the shepherds that this was the One when “the glory of the Lord shone around them.” He also helped the Magi (kings) find him by providing a star to light the way to his humble stable in Bethlehem.

Light is important for us. I remember the longest night I have ever experienced… the night my father died. It seemed as though the darkness of that night would last forever. But, when morning came, there was new hope. I still mourned, but the light of a new day gave new optimism that the sadness would eventually subside.

A small candle makes all the difference to a child when the electricity goes off in the midst of a storm. The light from fireflies on a warm summer night brings a smile. The headlights of an oncoming car brings excitement when you anticipate the arrival of family driving cross country. A flashlight is a reliable friend when you are trying to find your way in the dark. The lights shining brightly at Christmas time brings back fond memories of our childhood and the fun times we had then. The dawn of each new day brings fresh opportunities, new hope, and a sense of optimism.

Any amount of light can overcome any amount of darkness. Yet, many people continue to live in a state of darkness this Christmas season. Depression hits individuals and families especially hard at this time of year. Remembering those family members and friends of the past often brings a sense of sadness and despair.

Christmastime also tends to be a time of self-reflection. It is a time when many realize that they truly are living their lives in a state of darkness… a life without meaning, purpose, or hope. Jesus himself spoke of this:

“Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.John 3:19

But, Jesus also gives us hope. He gives us a reason for living and a purpose. 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

This is our answer to darkness! If we follow Him, we will never walk in darkness! What a great hope we have when we have Him in our lives!

I first saw and accepted the light of Jesus when I was 21 years old. Before that, I was walking in that darkness spoken about by Jesus. I was wandering through life with no real purpose or hope for eternity. But, when I accepted Him as my Savior and Lord of my life, everything changed. I now know my purpose in life and I have an optimism and hope for the future that can only come when you’ve experienced His light.

I enjoy a song about this light of Jesus at Christmas time. It is called “I have seen the light” and its lyrics are below:

I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT

(by Robert Sterling and Chris Machen)
 
I was a seeker for light in a dark world,
I looked for truth but settled for lies.
I had been blinded, I couldn’t see
Till the Star in Bethlehem’s sky opened my eyes.
I have seen the Light shining in the darkness,
Bursting through the shadows, delivering the dawn.
I have seen the Light whose holy name is Jesus,
His kingdom is forever; He reigns on Heaven’s throne!
There in a manger, an innocent baby;
Who could believe He was the One;
I can believe it, I know it’s true;
He changed my life; He is the light; He is God’s Son!
I have seen the Light shining in the darkness,
Bursting through the shadows, delivering the dawn.
I have seen the Light whose holy name is Jesus,
His kingdom is forever; He reigns on Heaven’s throne!
We must tell the world what we’ve seen today in Bethlehem!
He’s the promised King; we bow down and worship Him!
Worship Christ The King!
I have seen the Light shining in the darkness,
Bursting through the shadows, delivering the dawn.
I have seen the Light whose holy name is Jesus,
His kingdom is forever; He reigns on Heaven’s throne!
The words of this song tell my story well… “I was a seeker for light in a dark world, I looked for truth but settled for lies. I had been blinded, I couldn’t see till the Star in Bethlehem’s sky opened my eyes.”
It is my hope that you have seen the light. It is my prayer, that if you have not, that somehow, someway, your eyes are opened this Christmas season to the Light that will change your life and give you hope*.
Merry Christmas! May God’s Light shine brightly on you and your family this Christmas.
A version of “I have seen the light” can be found at this location:
*To learn more about how you can find the Light of the world, see this link from a previous edition from The Porch…What is your hope?
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