There are a lot of things to love about fall. Warm drinks, cozy sweaters, football, yummy things in crockpots, fires, good books, and darkness. Lots and lots of darkness. Wait, that last one’s not so great. That first day of fall back, darkness seems to smack me in the face. I’ll be getting ready to make dinner and it looks like it’s already midnight outside. I love the seasons, but if I’m honest, all that darkness begins to wear at me after a while.
I don’t technically suffer from seasonal affective disorder. I get a little thrown off each fall, but not depressed. If you do, I’ve heard there are things that can help like light therapy or just making sure to get outside everyday in the middle of the day for a brief walk or run. I’m no expert on this, but I know that staying in the dark isn’t the answer.
All this talk of darkness makes me think of one of my favorite verses: “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (John 8:12) Talk about light therapy. Light and dark effect people. I think that’s why things in the Bible are often compared to light and darkness. It’s something we all understand.
Jesus often referred to himself as the light, and he impressed on his followers the importance of being light-bearers once he was gone. Check out this passage in John:
“Then Jesus told them, ‘You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.’"- John 12:35-37
If we believe in the light, we become children of the light. Little fireflies in the grass. Luminaries lighting the way down a dark path. Twinkle lights at Christmas. That’s what we are. Little beacons of light showing others just a speck of what our Father of Lights is like.
1 Peter 2:9 makes it pretty clear that we are to lead others to his light.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
We aren’t supposed to just sit in the dark wallowing in it. We shouldn’t blend into the darkness all around us. We are to reflect light, bear light, and bring people to the light. I can’t think of a better time to start doing that than right now. Today. When everything outside looks dark. It’s a great reminder of all the dark places our friends, neighbors, and family members might be finding themselves in. Being connected daily to the light source is crucial to be a light bearer. Be real, admitting struggles, but be joyful. Allow people to see light. You’ll find it sticks out. It’ll give people pause. They may share some stuff. You might hear a person’s life story while you wait at the DMV. Don’t worry, you’ll have time. Being a light bearer can be exhausting, but it might also bring people to the light. And what a privilege that is.
When I was in high school, I remember being approached by a light bearer. She was genuine and kind. She had heard I was going through something hard and she offered to pray for me. I didn’t know she knew my name. Not long after this two-minute conversation, I decided to follow Jesus with my whole heart. Never underestimate what God can do through you as a light-bearer.
There are some good things about it getting dark early. In the past, we’ve successfully tricked our kids into going to bed an hour early. Here’s hoping the youngest two still can’t read the clock. It’s tough to have outdoor sports practices during the week so things may slow down a little. And the darkness reminds us we must rely on only one source for light. And we’re called to share it.