Lighting the Dark


“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light” (John 1:5, Common English Bible).

I love this picture. As you look at it, we obviously can see the candle and the flame. What isn’t so easy to see is the table on which the candle sits. Light is what makes the real difference.

Even a single candle can make a tremendous difference in a dark room. The light from the candle overcomes the darkness. Does it become brightly lit with a single candle or even a dozen candles? No, but it sheds enough light to function, even in the relative dark. You add more candles to the mix and you can do even more.

You could fill the room with candles and it would never become as bright as a room lit with electric light bulbs, but no one would really expect it to do so. The light has chased darkness out.

Many things can over power the candle. The wind or a breath can blow out the candle. All the wax can melt thereby removing the fuel and the light would go out. If it is an airtight room, if the candle has enough fuel, eventually all the oxygen would run out and the flame would die. It is the simple principle of the fire triangle. The triangle is made from heat, fuel and oxygen. If you remove any one of the sides of the triangle the fire dies. The light would go out.

But here is the deal. Any number of things attacking one or more sides of the triangle can remove the light, but darkness is not one of them. Light can overcome darkness but darkness can never overcome light without something else playing a role as well.

John says, “Light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot put out the light.” The light is Jesus and the darkness is the evil in the world around us. And, evil cannot overcome the light without something else playing a role. We are that something else. We can play a role in the light not shining in the darkness.

In truth, we can’t extinguish the light. We can’t overcome the power Jesus has in the battle against evil. But, we can certainly hide the light. Unfortunately, we often do hide the light by the things we say and do. We block others from seeing the light and cause them to wander aimlessly in the dark in the evil that exists in our own lives.

I have always loved the old Sunday school song, “This Little Light of Mine.” I thought about the verse that says, “Hide it under a bush, OH NO, I’m going to let it shine.” All of us need to have the determination the song speaks of, determination to let the light shine brightly in the darkness, to let the light go unblocked by the “bushes” of life so we can let Jesus shine. In the words of yet another song, “Shine Jesus, Shine.”

Have a blessed day in the Lord,

Grace and Peace,

Copyright 2016, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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