In the beginning of his book entitled “Coming Home” (1993), Richard Foster wrote, “Today the heart of God is an open wound of love. He aches over our distance and preoccupation. He mourns that we do not draw near to him. He grieves that we have forgotten him. He weeps over our obsession with muchness and manyness. He longs for our presence. And he is inviting you – and me – to come home, to come home to where we belong, to come home to that for which we were created.”
Men, in the “encroaching darkness” descending on our nation, Jesus is calling us home. “At that time I will bring you home” (Zeph. 3:20). Our journey home will be one of walking in the light as we keep our gaze on Jesus. Isaiah exhorts us to “walk in the light of the Lord” (Is 2:5). Take comfort in God’s promise as we walk in the darkness. “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth” (Is. 42:16). God will not fail us. “You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light” (Ps 18:28). From experience, David could declare, “even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you” (Ps 139:12). God is in control of both the light and the darkness. “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things” (Is. 45:7).
We all can get caught in the encroaching darkness. “We long for light but sink into darkness, long for brightness, but stumble through the night. Like the blind, we inch along a wall, groping eyeless in the dark. We shuffle our way in broad daylight, like the dead, but somehow walking” (Is. 59:9-10). But gazing upon Jesus helps us focus on the “inner light”, since the light shines in our hearts. “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ’ (II Cor. 4:6).
So men, I encourage you in the spiritual posture of always coming home, by keeping your gaze on Jesus, the light. “You groped your way through that murk once, but no longer. You’re out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So no more stumbling around. Get on with it! The good, the right, the true – these are the actions appropriate for daylight hours. Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it” (Eph. 5: 8-10). Jesus reminds us that he is the light of the world. “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).
Here are a few simple suggestions about coming home to the light. First, don’t fear the darkness, no matter what. The light of Jesus is greater. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (John 1:5). Secondly, enhance the light by meditating on Scripture. “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Ps. 119:105) Thirdly, spend time in quiet gazing upon Jesus, the light. “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always” (Ps 105:4). Fourthly, make confession of the darkness in your life. “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth” (I John 1:8).