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Darkness and Light

Darkness and Light

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.” So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was pitch darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. Exodus 10:21-22

My life is a continual contest between darkness and light. I know that as a Christian, I’m meant to walk in the light (1 John 1:7). I know that Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12), and that in following him, I find my true life. Still, part of me wants the darkness. My head knows that I find life, joy, and peace only in following God – walking in the light. My stomach, however, still seeks satisfaction in following me – walking in darkness. On one hand, I want to love God and serve others, and I know that I’m most joyful when I do this. On the other hand, I just want to serve my appetite, even though I know that once led to the disaster of my drug addiction.

This conflict between light and dark was the focal point of God’s ninth plague upon Egypt in today’s passage. In the story, as Pharaoh refused to release the Israelites, God struck Egypt with a palpable darkness. Maybe it was a dense fog. Maybe it was a sandstorm. Whatever it was, the Egyptians were blinded – They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days (Exodus 10:23). To the Egyptians, this was particularly devastating as the darkness cut them off from the sun god, Ra, whom they saw as the primal source of all life. Once, they’d looked to this false god for their existence. Now, the one true God laid bare the fragility of this idol. The Egyptians pursued life in the wrong place and now, they dwelt in darkness.

This is my daily choice. Daily, I must choose to follow God or to follow myself – to walk in the light or to walk in darkness. Does this mean my life is one of perpetual misery, chaos, and conflict? No. It is only in daily fighting the good fight, that I may walk in the light, enjoying the life, joy, and peace that comes only in that light. If I don’t daily take up this battle of wills, making myself walk in the light, I naturally surrender to the darkness, making a god of my own appetite. It is in not fighting the battle, that I lose, allowing my life to return to chaos and shadow. Yes, it’s a battle to walk in the light, but if that is where I find authentic life, then I will gladly take up that battle every day.

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