Light of Life

November 18, 2017
by JJ Ollerenshaw

Genesis 1:3-4,5b – And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. And there was evening, and there was morning — the first day. (NIV)

Isn't it interesting that God created light before He created the sun and the moon? Nothing can live without light. Plants need light to turn green, and they produce the oxygen that we need to breathe. We can't grow without light. Have you noticed how fast children grow in the summer months? Physical life needs physical light, and emotional and spiritual life need emotional and spiritual light.

When I suffered a severe clinical depression, I wanted nothing more than to be in the dark. But depression is not just a human illness. We had two beautiful German Shepherd dogs, not from the same litter, but born two months apart — they thought that they were brothers. They roamed our farm and delighted in chasing the occasional car.

As they grew, one became bolder and took to chasing chickens as well. When his nose was on a level with our table, he stole food off our plates. Eventually, he got himself into big trouble and had to be put down.

His brother moped. Obviously in a dark place, he lay on the step and refused to eat. So, I spent time with him, teaching him to catch a ball and walk on a leash. He became my shadow. I saved his life. And when I fell into the depths of despair, he saved mine. God was the mastermind.

Anti-depressant drugs are wonderful, but they work slowly. Meantime, I had to rouse myself in order to let Jasper in and out of the house. How could I resist those soulful brown eyes and not walk with him and throw his precious tennis ball? He needed me, and I needed him. As the saying goes, what goes around, comes around. We reap what we sow.

What do we do when morning comes, but our life is in darkness? How do we get rid of the gloom of long, grey winter days when so many suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder? We don't want to talk. We tentatively part the curtains — and close them quickly. Exercise? We can't force ourselves. We paint the walls green, blue, and yellow. We bring the outdoors in: flowers, birdhouses, pictures of beach scenes and boats. We might head south. But there's only one solution: turn on the light!

John 8:12b – I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. (NIV)

Jesus is the light that banishes spiritual and emotional darkness. He calls Himself the light of the world, and says that we are the light of the world as well. Our job is to let Jesus shine through us. We're to go and find dark places and start shining!

Prayer: Jesus, help us to reflect Your light and move towards the people and places that need You. Amen.

About the author:

JJ Ollerenshaw <sandjollie@yahoo.com>

Belleville, Ontario, Canada


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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good word JJ.


    Thank you for a wonderfully encouraging message on what is a dark, grey, rainy day.
    I can relate to your story so much.
    Blessings to you.


    Greetings,
    Thank you for another inspiring devotional. What a beautiful “light” we have in life when we follow the path the Lord sets out for us.
    Blessings to you.
    (B.C.)


    As I look out my living room window, I see the fog and rain drenching our little town. The church and houses are engulfed in a mist across the bay, it is twilight. The bay is a grey colour and much nicer to behold on a sunny day. It is true, when the sun is out, the body automatically wants to stretch out towards the sunlight. May we always walk in the light of Christ!


    Today is dark and gloomy. All day rain predicted.
    What an appropriate message.
    Thank you for it.
    One of my cats stopped eating when one of the other cats died.
    The only way she could express her grief.
    A week in the vet and nothing could persuade her, on intervenous until the head vet had an inspiration, sent her home with appetite pills.
    She started again and years later is strong and healthy.
    Another form of light is inspiration… if we follow it.


    Your words have touched my heart in several ways which I won’t list. However, I will mention the most recent one since it involves the loss of my furry companion of 13 years.

    Regardless of the cause of your depression, I can empathize with your suffering to some degree, because there has been a hole in my heart ever since that time. However, I know the Lord is gradually healing it, as sometimes it seems I can almost hear my dog encouraging me to get out and walk the way we used to do. Since I have leg problems this is an essential part of my getting back out into my community, which is necessary if I am to reach others for Him.
    Thank you so much for this encouraging devotional.


    Thank you for this wonderful message! We have just experienced the worst wildfire season in BC history. A Class Six Fire (the most dangerous) threatened me and my neighbours for weeks in August and I was evacuated twice for short periods. In the midst of this, my mother, 98, went home to the Lord, a week after being evacuated from her care home. I too, have suffered bouts of clinical depression in the past and I am familiar with the symptoms. So the emotional roller coaster I have been on this summer has taken its toll and will continue to do so. But, I believe Jesus is in control and I have to continue to place my trust in Him.
    (BC.)


    Dear JJ,
    Thank you.
    Dear God,
    Keep us in the Light of Your Word and in the light of the sun. I’m thankful for a congregation of light-givers at church and for my big south kitchen window.


    Very well said! Thanks for your insight and blessing!!!
    (NV)

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