“Through [Jesus] all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” – John 1:3-5, 9-13

Have you ever stood in complete darkness? Not just figuratively, but literally in the absence of light. Let me tell you, it is an eye-opening experience! <Pun intended>

My husband and I are the adventurous types and love to explore new places. When we were first married, we explored the Ape Caves in Washington, an underground lava tube about a mile long. We came prepared with flashlights but what I wasn’t prepared for was how dark darkness can be when no light can be found. I grew up as a kid who was always scared of the dark, but I had never experienced true darkness up until that point.

Just for fun, we stopped in the middle of the cave and turned off our flashlights. Even though my husband was only inches away from me, I couldn’t see him. I was surrounded by complete and utter blackness. I could not see anything! Once we turned our lights back on, I could see that he was right next to me all along. I could shine the light forward and see what was ahead of me and shine it around so I didn’t stumble on the rocks below my feet. We were completely dependent on our flashlights to get us out of this cave. Without the lights we carried, we would be forever lost in this cave.

Just like the darkness in this cave, we can find ourselves without light to illuminate our path through this life. Without light, we are vulnerable to stumbling blocks in our path. We need light to see the way through the dark and difficult situations we face. Although the light may only show us one step at a time, we need to know we are on the right path.

Jesus came to the world and people whom he created and knew well, as the light that shines into the hearts of people and illuminates the way to life. Not just any life, but life as God originally intended: full of love, hope and joy. He is a light that darkness cannot overcome, no matter how dark a cave we find ourselves in. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). He is the way to true life.

If we allow the light of Jesus to illuminate our path, we can continue to put one foot in front of the other, confident that even if we cannot see Him, He is there, showing us the way.