Light in the Darkness

By Chris Benzinger

Family prayer time is always an adventure in our home. Just getting through a short prayer without someone being corrected for giggling or interrupting can feel like a miracle. Fortunately, we believe in miracles. 

A few nights ago, we gathered in the family room for prayer. We lit a candle and then turned out all the lights (yes, attempting some semblance of serious prayer time with six kids, an open flame and darkness was risky but we went for it). At first, we could only see the flame flickering on top of the tall, purple candle, and it seemed very dark. We ask the kids to reflect on how Jesus is the light in our darkness. At the end of the prayer, one of the kids spoke up and said, "Dad, I noticed that the longer I looked into the light, the better I was able to see everything in the room." 

This observation had a profound effect on me. Naturally, I know that as the flame grew and our eyes adjusted to the candlelight, we were able to see more clearly. Yet, this is also true in our spiritual lives. 

When we look at, or focus on, the light of Jesus, the dark things in our lives don't seem as dark. In fact, the longer we look at Jesus, and the more time we spend with him, the more we realize that he is the Light of the World, that he is with us and, with him, "all things are possible" (Mt 19:26). 

When we could only see the flame of the candle, everyone and everything else in the room was still there, but we just couldn't see them. As we spent more time in the candlelit room, things that were in the dark became visable. As we spend more time with Jesus, he brings light to our life - to family, to relationships and to all that is dark and difficult in our lives. Jesus is the light of the world. When we follow him, he will turn our darkness to light. "Jesus spoke to them again, saying, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12). 

If we spend a little time with Jesus each day, we will see our lives in a whole new light. 

Reflection Questions: 

What areas of darkness in your life could use a little light? 

What would the people in our lives look like if we saw them in the light of Jesus? 

How would our relationships be different if they were grounded in the light of Christ?