I squeezed myself through a narrow rock opening and entered the deepest part of the Arkansas cave I was exploring-a surprisingly vast room with a ceiling high enough for me and my friends to stand. There were no cracks, no space for light to enter. We relied solely on our head flash lights. We turned them all off and stood quietly.
Total, utter darkness.
I held my hand directly in front of my face and saw nothing. I heard my friends’ quiet breathing, but saw no silhouettes or slight movements. My eyes’ memory searched desperately for a splinter of light, to no avail. I was relieved when we switched the lights back on.
Science experiments show that when people become lost in caves without a light, it takes only 48 hours for them to lose their minds.They become disoriented, lose all sense of time, and even start to hallucinate. They begin to live in a lie. They make up their own “truths.”
This is why the Bible uses physical darkness as a metaphor for spiritual darkness. Without Christ, we live a lie. We believe the lies are the truth. Our souls cling to things that are not real. We make up our own “truths.” And just like physical light, we cannot even begin to see reality without the soul intervention of Jesus.
What a merciful God! He did not leave us in the futile darkness we deserve. He is the great light. In a culture that is constantly re-defining truth, I find comfort in knowing the reality that Jesus defines truth. No one else can define truth. He is the light by which we see.
There are times when even as believers, we walk in darkness. We allow lies and half-truths to seep into our souls and shadow the light of Truth. We see things that aren’t really there: I am worthless. God can’t really love me. I am not enough. I can do it on my own. I can control this myself. I don’t need God.
But, Jesus, in his great love for us, will not leave us in our alternate realities. When he makes us his, he makes us his forever. He will not let the darkness consume us. He will not let the darkness overtake this world.
This is our hope as we walk through the Shadowlands of a broken world: that He is coming again and He will shine in even greater glory, illuminating every dark corner of this earth. He will expose every lie and destroy every false reality. He will make all things right. He will destroy evil and darkness forever.