Imagine yourself in a dark and empty room with nothing but a deafening silence.
There’s no breeze.
No tick of a clock.
Even the breath in your own lungs seems paralyzed.
You can’t see anything but the pitch-black mass that’s enveloped around you. You can’t hear anything except your own hushed thoughts about the bleak surroundings. There’s nothing to smell, nothing to taste, nothing to feel.
This is how it was in the beginning (without so much as the imagined room in our hypothetical scenario). But then something happened…
The heavens and earth were exhaled into existence. And after that? God zoomed in on our tiny-yet-special portion of the universe and spoke four glorious words: “Let there be light!”
He started contrasting right away, separating light beams from shadows. But here’s where it gets interesting: God made light on Day 1. But he didn’t get around to making the sun, moon, and stars until Day 4.
Yep, you read that right. Light flooded into the darkness on the first day, but it wasn’t until the fourth that he hung two great beacons in the sky to govern our days and nights. You can read it all right here.
On an equally fascinating note: God will eventually do away with the same sun, moon, and stars. But there will be a source who outshines them all.
“On that day the sources of light will no longer shine, yet there will be a continuous day! Only the Lord knows how this could happen. There will be no normal day and night, for at evening time it will still be light.” (Zechariah 14:6-7) “No longer will you need the sun to shine by day, nor the moon to give its light by night, for the Lord your God will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.” (Isaiah 60:19)
“No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 22:3-5)
Can we push pause for a second?
I realize this sounds like crazy talk in light of the here and now in which we live, because the sun is obviously an essential element for life on this planet as we know it. And though it falls into the category of “things I just won’t understand until heaven,” it still happens to be one of my favorite mysteries.
Somehow, God illuminated the ancient world—just as Christ will illuminate the future world—in a way that’s completely over our heads.
I love how Zechariah says, “Only the Lord knows how this could happen.”
Do I understand all of this wildness? Of course not. And, man, I really want to understand it. But it’s also strangely comforting. Because guess what? There’s plenty that our beloved scientists don’t have a clue about. In fact, even the best of our man-made telescopes can only see a small portion of the observable universe (not counting the massive percentage that’s actually invisible—dark matter and dark energy that’s beyond our explorations and understanding).
I like that I have a God who knows way more than I do. Some things just won’t make sense until He allows the fogginess to become clear. Until then, we can marvel at His awesomeness, knowing He was light before setting his giant lanterns into place.
He was, is, and will always be the original source.
We already know there are many types of light—some that aren’t visible to our human eyes. Infrared light, ultraviolet light, radio waves, x-rays, and gamma rays are just a few of them. Even certain animals have extra rods and cones in their visual receptors that allow them to see a spectrum of radiance and color that we simply cannot envision! How cool is that?
So we shouldn’t be surprised to learn there’s more than what our eyes can see.
God was light before He made light. And His blaze will remain long after the sun has faded away. But even more than that? He’s called us—purposed us—to be light too.
“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, ‘I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you have the light that leads to life.’” (John 8:12) “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14) “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.” (Ephesians 5:8-9)
Maybe you’re thinking, “Well, my situation is dark and miserable and hopeless.” Or maybe it’s not that dark—just bland and boring and stale. Maybe you feel like whatever light was there has flickered or faded or fallen off its stand. BUT THERE’S GOOD NEWS: God makes light where there is no light, and shines that self-sustained brilliance smack into the darkness.
As we swim out of summer and cozy into fall. As we pack lunches and send our kids off to start another school year. As we tackle new projects and jobs and adventures. As we nurse babies and sit through practices and dream dreams and set goals. As we love our people and occasionally stumble. As we take out the trash and drive-thru Chick-fil-A and wheel shopping carts through our hometown grocery stores…
May we be light where there is no light—only because we’re plugged into the source. May we bust open the murkiness with something bigger than the twinkling objects stuck in space. May we not solely depend on ourselves, but trust the One who’s outside of time and limitation. Who loves us and planned us and uniquely designed us and put us here on earth at this exact time in history for a specific calling—to know Him and to make Him known, in a way that only we can.
WE ARE PEOPLE OF LIGHT.
Let us never, ever forget.
“O Lord, you are my lamp. The Lord lights up my darkness.” (2 Samuel 22:29)