We could hear the laughter of the village children playing in the exterior light just outside the walls of our retreat center. I was attending a small missionary gathering in Guinea, West Africa, and the accommodations were rustic by Western standards. The generators that powered the lights didn’t function well, so as we enjoyed the evening's activities, we were often plunged into darkness.
And it was really dark. Can’t-see-your-hand-in-front-of-your-face dark.
Of course, the missionaries anticipated the problem and had flashlights at the ready. But for me, it was disconcerting, because whenever the lights went off, the children would be completely silent. It was if they weren’t there at all. Absolute stillness. The duration of time without power varied, but the kids waited quietly—until the lights came on. Then the kids screamed and cheered with delight. It was like someone had just delivered a sack full of toys or candy right in their midst; there was such a thrill.
The Bible describes us as “children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). Jesus said that those who believe in Him are “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). We have experienced the light of Jesus’ love in our hearts, and we bear that light—a beacon of hope and grace.
We sometimes forget how dark it can be without the light. We grow accustomed to having that light with us all the time. We consider our light to be normal, everyday, mundane even—and we take it for granted. Those nights in Guinea reminded me how valuable light can be, especially to someone who is so familiar with the darkness.
In Christ Jesus, we have something that can rescue people out of the darkness and into His marvelous light. The light of the gospel is worth sharing with people who are still stuck in dark places. It's worth making sure our generators are on and the lights are bright. And it’s worth cheering and screaming about.
Dr. Stanley shares how we can expose the works of darkness by sharing a spirit of love in his message “Walking in the Light,” airing today on radio.