Walking in Darkness

Have you ever tried to walk in the dark? I do it frequently because of having to get up during the night. I also usually walk in the dark for a few moments after everyone has gone to bed when I turn out the lights. When I do walk in the dark, I don’t run; I don’t even walk confidently. I’m usually feeling around with my hands and arms trying to identify objects that are where I know they should be. I walk very gingerly making sure of my steps before I put my feet flat on the floor (you never know when there is going to be a small metal toy car there, and while they aren’t that big, they sure hurt when you step on them without any shoes on). Then, after I am sure of my step, I’ll put that foot down and pick the other one up. I’m also very careful to make sure that I know where furniture and other objects are so that I don’t stub my toe or bang an arm. Even when you know what the basic layout of the house is and where the furniture is located, walking in the dark is at best, difficult. It is so much easier to just turn on the light and walk in confidence.

Picture yourself, however, in unfamiliar territory and with no light whatsoever. I once found myself in such a situation when touring a cave. My family and I went to explore a part of the cave that the guide thought had water in it (but it didn’t). He went another direction and said that he would meet us. We were almost happily at the junction when he turned off the lights on us! It was completely and totally dark. Being as tall as I am, I immediately got down on my knees so as not to bump my head on the roof. Then, I began groping around in the dark to feel for my wife and kids who were near by. (The kids could hear me, but my wife couldn’t, as she is deaf.) What did we do? We started yelling for the guide to turn the lights back on! He eventually did and we got out of the cave safely, but it was an experience to shake one’s confidence that I will never forget.

Why would someone want to walk in darkness? Physically, it just doesn’t make any sense unless one is forced into it. Spiritually, however, many desire it on a regular basis. In Ecclesiastes 2:14a we read, “The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness.” It is foolish to walk in darkness. I suppose if someone wanted to be foolish, they would walk in darkness. In Isaiah 59:9, we read, “Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.” The person who does not desire to have justice and judgment in his life desires to walk in darkness. In Proverbs 2:12 we read, “Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness.” Those who don’t desire righteousness walk in darkness. Regarding the wicked in Psalm 82:5 we read, “They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.” Those who are ignorant desire to walk in darkness. John writes in 1 John 1:6 “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.” To claim fellowship with God while practicing evil is walking in darkness. Hypocrites desire to walk in darkness. Desiring to walk in spiritual darkness doesn’t exactly put one in good company. It just doesn’t make any sense to do so.

In John 12:35 we read “Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.” The metaphor is so appropriate. We know how difficult it is to walk in the dark. We know how pleasant it is to walk in the light. We know the difference between darkness and light! Is the same not true for truth? As far as truth goes, Jesus is the light of the world. If we follow Jesus’ example and teaching, then we will walk in the light and what a pleasant and wonderful experience it will be! However, if we fail to follow Jesus’ example and teaching, then we will grope in the darkness and what a miserable and awful experience that will be! In the light we have confidence, joy, direction, faith and progress. In the dark we have timidity, fear, confusion, doubt, and regression. Jesus said in John 8:12 “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” We’ve seen how dangerous it is to walk in darkness. We’ve seen how invigorating it is to walk in the light. Now, in what path will I walk today? Darkness? Or Light? As for me, I’m keeping the light on.

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