Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Is The Sweetest Name I Know"1 (Lyrics)
Genesis 1:3-4,5b – And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. And there was evening, and there was morning — the first day. (NIV)
Isn't it interesting that God created light before He created the sun and the moon? Nothing can live without light. Plants need light to turn green, and they produce the oxygen that we need to breathe. We can't grow without light. Have you noticed how fast children grow in the summer months? Physical life needs physical light, and emotional and spiritual life need emotional and spiritual light.
When I suffered a severe clinical depression, I wanted nothing more than to be in the dark. But depression is not just a human illness. We had two beautiful German Shepherd dogs, not from the same litter, but born two months apart — they thought that they were brothers. They roamed our farm and delighted in chasing the occasional car.
As they grew, one became bolder and took to chasing chickens as well. When his nose was on a level with our table, he stole food off our plates. Eventually, he got himself into big trouble and had to be put down.
His brother moped. Obviously in a dark place, he lay on the step and refused to eat. So, I spent time with him, teaching him to catch a ball and walk on a leash. He became my shadow. I saved his life. And when I fell into the depths of despair, he saved mine. God was the mastermind.
Anti-depressant drugs are wonderful, but they work slowly. Meantime, I had to rouse myself in order to let Jasper in and out of the house. How could I resist those soulful brown eyes and not walk with him and throw his precious tennis ball? He needed me, and I needed him. As the saying goes, what goes around, comes around. We reap what we sow.
What do we do when morning comes, but our life is in darkness? How do we get rid of the gloom of long, grey winter days when so many suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder? We don't want to talk. We tentatively part the curtains — and close them quickly. Exercise? We can't force ourselves. We paint the walls green, blue, and yellow. We bring the outdoors in: flowers, birdhouses, pictures of beach scenes and boats. We might head south. But there's only one solution: turn on the light!
John 8:12b – I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. (NIV)
Jesus is the light that banishes spiritual and emotional darkness. He calls Himself the light of the world, and says that we are the light of the world as well. Our job is to let Jesus shine through us. We're to go and find dark places and start shining!
Prayer: Jesus, help us to reflect Your light and move towards the people and places that need You. Amen.