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Let There Be Light

Have you ever walked on a dark street? You probably have, so what I’m going to ask you to do next is pretty simple. Imagine this: you leave a friend’s house just after dark. Even though you’re walking you’re not really scared because your house is just a few blocks away and the area is well-lit. You start walking at a pace that you know will get you home in less than 15 minutes. The streetlights are on in their dazzling glory and for a second you forget it’s not daytime.

Then, pop! Once by one all the streetlights blink out. All the houses are dark and there are absolutely no cars on the road. The power’s out. What do you do? Probably panic for a second and then pull out your handy dandy cell phone because of course you have a flashlight app.

But uh-oh, your batteries are dead. You fumble along and now every sound that you hear is amplified and could represent danger. Just when you think everything is over, the lights come back on.

Your first thought is probably, “Thank God!” at that moment you are so completely grateful for electricity and the light bulb that you’re probably tempted to kiss a light post.

Now as you would have known this month we’re doing a series: “All Nature Sings of the Glory of God” yet here we are talking about light bulbs. Stick with me, I have a point I promise.

A lot of us credit Thomas Edison with the creation of the first light bulb. What we may or may not know is that he had a team of persons working with him and that they worked on over 3000 variations between 1878 and 1880.

Another thing that we may also not have known is that there were numerous other persons working on various models of the incandescent bulb … and I’m only talking about what’s documented (you can read more about that here). It took a lot of brilliant minds a very long time to figure out the concept of electricity and then a lot more brilliant minds to conceptualize the light bulb. But God -

In a simple phrase, with no team of researchers, no gigantic laboratory (unless you consider the null and void state of the earth), no equipment spoke light into being. Once upon a time umpteen years ago, God said: “Let there be a light” and just like that, there was light (Genesis 1:3).

Can you imagine? Just his words could dispense this great nothingness into something that could now be separated into night and day. We are unable to truly comprehend how speaking such a simple phrase could work to produce something so complex and yet indispensable at the same time. 

Let There Be Light
Genesis 1:3Photo by Shantel P.

Since we’re talking about how nature sings of the glory of God, I have to say it: light is one of the most fundamentally important parts of creation (don’t be surprised if I say this about all the other days of creation – I truly believe all parts work together and are of utmost importance). Now as we go more into our series you’ll see more of how God’s plan had a sequence. But for now let’s talk about light.

Did you know that the amount and quality of the light we’re exposed to affects our health? Have you ever noticed that sometimes after spending a lot of time indoors in artificial light that sometimes your mood dips and you feel lethargic (more on that here)?

I remember visiting a friend who lives in an apartment building in New York some time ago. After a couple of days indoors I was so light-deprived that I started going from room to room prying windows open and pulling drapes just to get the natural light in. Now where I live the windows are always open unless it’s raining heavily so being locked in almost made me feel like I was locked up!

Isn’t it just like God to start with light? And there are, I think, a number of reasons:

1. God is light and there is no darkness in him at all. Quite possibly even if he had not said the words the darkness would have fled because his presence would have been a shiny beacon in all that nothingness.

2. God had a plan to create more than just a planet. He wanted a complex ecosystem including complex lifeforms and he knew he was going to design them to require light because of well, see reason number one.

Our God doesn’t make any mistakes and if he designed light he had a very good reason for it. What reasons can you think of? Share them in the comments below!

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