You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone. That was certainly true for me one morning. I had just gotten out of the shower, and I was drying my hair. My towel was over my head and my eyes were closed. When I finished drying my hair and took the towel away, I opened my eyes – but I couldn’t see anything. I thought I had gone blind. It was bewildering! I fumbled my way over to the door and discovered that I was not, in fact, blind; the power had just chosen that exact moment to go out. The sight of the sunlight through the window had never been so refreshing.
1st John 1 has something to say about light. “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (verse 5). With God, the power going out is not a concern. The light of God will never go out! There is NO darkness associated with the light of God; indeed, there aren’t even shadows. We are always safe and strong in God’s light.
Inevitably, however, we will walk away from his light. After all, you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone. It’s easy to walk away from it a few steps at a time. We’re curious about the shadows we can see outside the light. We want to know more, even if it means getting farther away from God. And then suddenly, we’re in the dark.
The good news is that the darkness is never complete. There is always a glimmer of hope in our peripheral vision. God’s light never goes out, and it is there to guide and protect us. If we walk in it, we will return to the place where there is no darkness at all. 1st John 1 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (verse 9). Confession and absolution bring us back into the light, and that is Jesus’s doing, not ours. Only through him can we return to the light – and when we do, it will be more refreshing than ever.