“As long as you have the light,
believe in the light so that you might become people whose lives are determined by the light.”
John 12:36 (Common English Bible)
“As long as you have the light.” Jesus urges those who follow Him to take advantage of the light while it is present. The brilliance of the light is not constant; the illumination that provides clarity comes in intervals in the midst of grey moments and the dark nights of life. In the moments of light we have a glimpse of God’s presence and the certainty of God’s power and work. These are the moments when God’s Kingdom is traced with vivid colors and God’s purposes seem clear. In these moments Jesus asks that we believe – or live into – the light so that our lives are changed. The light does not always remain. So take advantage of the moment when the light shines.
Recently my wife and I spent a few days of vacation on Sanibel Island. The first night I was restless. When the bedside clock shared with me that it was now midnight and sleep still was far away I left the bed for a walk on the beach. After nearly a half-hour of walking, clouds rolled over the moon and the well-lit beach became very dark. In the darkness I could not find my way to the path that led back to the hotel. For a moment I considered the possibility that I would remain on the beach until morning light and Grace would come looking for me. It was not a preferable situation nor was it a frightening one. I felt safe on this resort beach.
I sat on the beach prepared to wait out the dark of the night. After about twenty minutes the clouds moved past the moon and the shore was lit-up once again. Not only was the beach once again visible in the moon-light but also evident was the movement across the sky of more clouds that would again hide the moon. In the few minutes I had the light, I quickly sought-out the path that would take me back to my room. I took advantage of the light while it was present.
As it is in the realm of nature so it is with the soul. We have moments in our walk with Jesus where the brilliance of our faith cast a certain light upon the path before us. Each step is a deliberate one; a confident one. We are privileged to have the way before us clear. We have the light! In these moments our faith is given a glimpse into the mysterious work of God in our lives. These are the moments that Jesus urges us to direct our lives according to God’s purposes for us. For the light will not always remain and darkness will once again prevail.
We never know when a concealing cloud cover will hide God from us. Sickness, estrangement from loved ones, betrayal by a friend or financial difficulties all move into our lives from time to time. Each of them has the capacity to envelope our lives in darkness. Jesus asks that we direct our way while there is light – “believe in the light.” The light gives opportunity to direct our bearings, and by this find our way through our ever changing days, particularly after the darkness has come.