What is the darkest physical place you have every been? Two places that come to mind for me are inside of a cave while visiting Ruby Falls when they turned the lights off and the other being on the deck of a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean at night as a child. I can remember thinking while standing on the deck that if I fall off they will never find me! Of course, the ship we were on even had lights. I can remember thinking how dark it must have been for some of the first explorers at sea.
Right now, we have a lot of darkness in this world. Every day it seems there is word of another terrible shooting, leader or celebrity succumbing to the temptation of sin that is in news, or a political/social issue that’s causing division and bickering with the platform of social media making it more evident. The world is often a dark place. There are also many individually that are living in darkness with depression, anxiety, and just an unhappiness they are experiencing to which they possibly can’t even pinpoint the reason.
John 1:1-17 tells us that Jesus is the true source of light and thus life. Specifically, John 1:4-5 says, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Revelation 21:23 tells us in Heaven there is no sun or moon needed because the glory of God brings light.
Why is God light? John 1:14 tells us His glory comes from his grace and truth. This glory provides the light as mentioned above in Revelation 21:23. In this world, we have much of the opposite. We don’t have much grace. We have much more judgement and gossip about others not noticing our own sin. We also have sin and lies through not following the truth in the Bible and the way He wants us to live so we are a slave to sin bringing more unhappiness (John 8:34).
If you are reading this and struggling with stress, anxiety, depression, or just unhappiness, I would encourage you to think about how you can get more light in your life…more Jesus…through His Word, small group, prayer, and I even might encourage you to watch the series The Chosen. The series is not a substitute for the Bible, but it can inspire us to get in the Word more to help grow our relationship with Jesus through seeing the realness of who He was as both man and Son of God full of grace and truth who brought light and life to everyone. Many struggling with these challenges may need a doctor and/or counselor of which I would encourage a Christian counselor for the help needed to point us in the right direction back to Him.
It is easy for me to become self-absorbed… focused on my own problems, issues, and challenges. But ultimately when I die some day what I truly want is to know that I made an impact on others during my lifetime on this Earth. To try to keep me more focused on this, I recently changed my mission statement to “Impacting others by helping them live life to the fullest.” This was inspired by John 10:10 where Jesus says He came so that we may have life and live it abundantly. This allows me to ask myself, am I helping those around me live life abundantly and to the fullest? Am I building others up so they can see they are a child of God who He made for a purpose and bigger things than they may see for themselves? Are they seeing the love of Jesus and His grace and truth come from my lips and in my actions? Unfortunately, the answer to these questions are not always yes and are no way too often.
Reading this mission statement and being in His Word helps get me re-focused and re-centered. I’ve heard it said when we interact with another human, we leave them after that conversation feeling a little better or a little worse. There are no net neutral interactions. Your mission statement should not be my mission statement, but I would encourage all of us to reflect on some of these questions and think about how we can bring more light, more life, and more Jesus through grace and truth to every interaction with another to leave them in a more positive place afterwards.