It was my sophomore year in college when a friend and I took an overnighter to Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. Virtually penniless, we slept in his car that frigid-cold January night, Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” cycling through the dashboard’s 8-track player on a continuous loop.
If you’ve ever been to this, the world’s longest known cave system, you well know “the moment.” Descending a few hundred feet into the earth, hikers enter a large underground “room.” There the park ranger urges all to close their eyes while he extinguishes his lantern. Opening their eyes again, they find themselves in complete and utter darkness. It is a feeling like no other, as though consumed by something worse than nothingness; the uneasiness is assuaged only by the belief that the guide knows what he’s doing and that the palpable blackness will very soon end. The ranger then flicks his lighter, and, almost miraculously, its tiny wisp of flame illumines the entire cavernous space, much to the relief of all now reassured in its broad glow.
It is in the darkest recesses of our sightless soul that the Spirit of God reveals the Son of God. When Peter confessed to Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” his Lord blessed him and assured him, “this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 16:16, 17). To the church in Corinth, the apostle Paul likewise wrote, “no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). Yes, it is the Spirit of God who lights the flame, sparking new life—the life of Christ—in us.
So we ask ourselves: What was it like when the Spirit illumined my life for the first time? How has the light of His presence transformed me since then? I think you will recall Him fondly and praise Him gratefully. And in that warmth, perhaps today we will carry the fire burning within us to others still longing to see the light of Christ.
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light. (Isaiah 9:2)