From darkness to light
A Christian Science perspective: Shedding prayerful light on dark or confusing situations.
At the edge of our property are two small solar-powered lights that mark exactly where we should pull into the driveway. This is always so helpful when we’re coming home late at night, or for friends who are looking for our house. Plus, in the event of electrical power failures, we, like many neighbors, have flashlights and candles at the ready.
These extra sources of light often remind me of how valuable it is to have the right kind of illumination, either physical or mental, when situations around us seem dark and confusing. It’s always reassuring to know we’re on the right path when walking, on the right road when driving, or heading in the right direction when we’re trying to move forward through difficult decisions.
The Bible teaches that God is the constant and dependable source of light and illumination in which there is no darkness, confusion, or lack of clarity. For example, in I John 1:5: “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” Even if the whole world around us seems dark, we can be comforted by knowing that each one of us has the inherent God-given capacity to understand God’s goodness and power. Even a spark of this understanding can give us the spiritual light and illumination to help us find our way.
How do we gain this understanding when we need clarity, direction, and right solutions? It requires humbly putting aside our own human opinions and limited sense of what’s possible. The master Christian, Christ Jesus, taught his followers that the way to experience God’s spiritual light and direction is to understand and trust that God’s goodness and power are ever present and discernible. When discouragement and fear challenged his disciples, Jesus explained that the light of spiritual understanding comes directly from God to every one of us, so it was ever available to them. And they, through prayer and spiritual receptivity, could walk in that light.
Jesus once said to people who had gathered to hear him: “Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light ...” (John 12:35, 36). Dark elements that would close our eyes to spiritual light are fear, doubt, distraction, anger, hate, and self-will. But as we let go of such elements and pray to better understand God’s goodness as infinite, and therefore present right here with us, we receive the illumination that, even in small glimpses, disperses darkness. This growing and glowing light of spiritual understanding brings an ever-brighter revelation of God’s goodness, love, and safety in His ever-present care.
When we turn to God, divine Mind, in sincere and honest prayer for inspiration, direction, and enlightenment, each of us can expect to experience the clarity and understanding we need. Recently I was reminded of a challenging and contentious family estate issue I had faced many years earlier. I had sincerely turned to God, who is divine Mind, for direction. Acknowledging that God is just and loving to all had enabled me to set aside my personal opinions about how the issue should be solved. My prayers had led me to take specific steps, which ultimately led to an outcome that was harmonious for all concerned.
Mary Baker Eddy wrote a heartfelt message to the members of Third Church of Christ, Scientist, in London, England, that can encourage us today, too: “May these words of the Scriptures comfort you: ‘The Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.’ ‘The city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.’ ‘Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light’ ” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 206).
Spiritual light reveals God’s goodness right at hand, showing us that God is always present – governing, guiding, protecting. As we acknowledge God, we receive the light of spiritual understanding that inspires and guides, enabling us to confidently move forward on a clear path.