Maybe you have heard of light pollution. It’s the artificial light that contaminates our night sky, limiting our view of the stars. That’s why the stars are clearer and brighter the farther away you go from all the artificial lights. Because of all the city lights, it’s hard to see clearly the beauty and vividness of the stars lighting up the sky. Typically, if you want to look through a telescope to see celestial objects in deep space, you have to go somewhere that’s pitch black. Only then can you see the night sky as it truly is — littered with stars and planets.
I’ve never felt the presence of darkness more strongly than when I walked the streets of Thailand and saw firsthand the impact of the sex industry. I felt lost in darkness. In contrast, what I have realized is that here at home we live in a bright world — a blindingly, bright world. We are not lost in the darkness, we are lost in the light.
This artificial light can distract us from the true needs that exist. Distractions of our comfortable lives: Netflix binging, vacations, shopping, and overall busyness of our day-to-day schedules. If we aren’t leaving room in our lives to see the darkness, then we can’t see people who are in desperate need of rescue. And when we are “lost in light” we can’t reach into the darkest places of our world with the light of hope.
I have decided this — that I would much rather stay in the darkness than live and stay in a place that is so bright I can’t even see real darkness. I have started to read John 1:5 in a new way. It says, “The light shines the darkness.”
Do you see what that means?
The light can only shine the darkness. You have to go into the darkness in order for the light to shine.
When you are willing to step out of the light into that complete darkness — then and only then do you see God’s redemptive plan and the story He is writing across the sky. Only then can you see the stars of hope.
Once you step out of the light, out of all the comfort and safety, you can see clearly those who need rescuing. Those who need you are just outside of the light.