By Pastor Rod LaFee
Last week we talked about walking in the Light. This week we want to determine who that light is. The verse we looked at was 1 John 1:5 which said “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is not darkness at all.” let us continue on into verses 6 -7. “ If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lied and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (“fellowship with one another” means we will have a close relationship between yourself and God.) Do you realize there is a physical disorder caused by lack of light? It is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.). It is caused by a lack of exposure to sunlight, which in turn alters a person’s brain chemistry. During the fall and winter months when the hours of daylight are shorter, less light passes through the eyes which then inhibits the release of an important brain chemical, serotonin. When serotonin is not released in sufficient quantities, symptoms of depression may occur. Melatonin, another important brain chemical which regulates our sleep cycle, is released in greater quantities, adding to the depressive state. How is Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) treated? The standard treatment for this disorder is “light” therapy. In fact, it is the primary treatment recommended by the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association, and it is also backed by extensive medical research through the prestigious National Institute of Mental Health. The principal behind light therapy is that by increasing a person’s exposure to bright light, the chemicals in a person’s brain can be brought back to normal levels and lessen or remove the symptoms of S.A.D. The advantages of light therapy are that it is simple to administer, requires no medication, and has minimal side effects. Although (S.A.D.) only affects about 1 in 5 people, each of us notice the difference in our behavior when it has been cloudy for a week or two. This is very much true also of our spirit walk with God. When we pull away and do not spend time in prayer and reading of His Word we find ourselves being drawn into compromising situations we normally would have avoided. We still possess our old nature and just like the light from a candle, when that light goes out darkness once again fills the room. The Psalmist wrote in Psalms 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid.” John 8:12 says, “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “ I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 12:35-36; “Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” A group of graduate students did a very bizarre experiment. They took lab rats and put them in a tank of water and placed the tank in a totally dark room. They went into the joining room and monitored them with video equipment. The rats swam for almost six hours before giving up and drowning. The students then took another set of lab rats and put them in a tank of water and placed that tank in a room where there was a small lamp. Their hypothesis was that the light would give the rats hope and they would survive longer. As it turns out, the rats swam almost 17 hours. Much longer than the rats in total darkness. Something about the light enabled them to survive longer. What we have learned is we need physical light but even more we need God’s light. Just as the moon is a reflection of our sun, we are a reflection of God’s Son. The more you are in the light, the greater your reflection will be.