Stumbling in the Dark!

John 11:9-10, NIV
“Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world’s light. It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light.”

There are occasions in the past when I have gone fishing for sea-trout at night! For that is sometimes the best time to catch them on the fly. But whilst I have enjoyed the fishing, I have not enjoyed having to stumble along the river bank in the dark, not being able to see where I was putting my feet, and realising that if I wasn’t extremely careful, I could end up in the river. A sudden fall into deep, dark water could even be fatal. There are too many fishermen who have lost their lives taking unnecessary risks.

Not only did I learn the lessons associated with the physical dangers of stumbling in the dark, I learnt the parallel lesson of the spiritual dangers associated with stumbling in spiritual darkness – for a fatal stumble would have consequences in eternity as well as in time. The tragedy is that most of the world is choosing to stumble in the dark spiritually, when the One who is the Light of the World has already come to be a light on our pathway. It’s as if people are choosing to walk in the darkness when, in reality, there is a light that will lighten their darkness, but they are choosing not to turn it on.

At the beginning of his Gospel, John wrote, “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it . . . the true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world” (John 1:4 and 9). There are no exceptions – the Light is available to all, but as John then said in John 3:19, “light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of the light because their deeds were evil.”

The natural instinct of fallen man is to want to cover up sin, so from that point of view darkness can even seem to be attractive. But in choosing darkness men and women are also rejecting the only Light which can show them the way to God. As I meditated on these Scriptures I began to grieve over the terrible fact that most of mankind is choosing to stumble through the darkness, instead of accepting the One who is the Saviour of the world. “To all who received Him, to those who believed on His name, he gave the right to become the children of God.” (John 1:122). What an incredible privilege and blessing God has made available to us, his children, when we choose to turn on the Light!

Prayer: Forgive me, Lord, for the times when I have chosen to stumble in the darkness, rather than have your Light shining on my path. I welcome You now, Lord Jesus, the Light of the world, into my life. Thank you that through your death and resurrection my sin is covered and my darkness can be flooded with Your light. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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