“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God” (John 3:19-21 ESV).
In painting, photography, and cinema the artist uses light to reveal and creates mystery and drama with the shadows. You never know what may be hiding just inside the shadows!
There is a cave near where I live that has tours. It’s a small cave, compared to a lot of others, but it’s still pretty amazing. When you reach the bottom of the cave, half-way through the tour, you find yourself 70 feet below the surface. The guide shuts off all of the lights and you are in total darkness. I’ve been on the tour several times, but I’m still amazed by the fact that I can’t see my hand right in front of my face! Darkness conceals!
I’m sure we have all experienced walking into a dark house at night and fumbling around for the light switch. When the electricity reaches the bulb all of a sudden we can see everything clearly. Or maybe you can remember being caught in a lie. As long as no one knew, the lie was hidden. But as soon as someone found out, there was no way to hide it again. Light reveals!
You don’t have to read much further than the first few verses of Genesis to recognize that this has been the case from the start. “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:2-4 ESV). God’s first recorded action was bringing light to a dark and formless emptiness.
And for nearly as long, God has been about revealing sin and ungodliness, purifying His own and exposing the deeds of those who are in darkness. “For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible” (Ephesians 5:8,10-11,13 ESV emphasis mine).
It is a leftover from our sin-nature that encourages us to conceal our sins. But this only provides motive to continue in sin, after all, “what they don’t know can’t hurt them.” But sin has a way of multiplying in the darkness. Like mushrooms, it thrives in the dark, hidden places of our lives. The best way to deal with sin is to expose it. Let the light of the Holy Spirit illuminate the dark places so that you can sweep them clean and allow Him to take up residence where once there was no light.
James tells us that if we “confess [our] sins to one another and pray for one another, that [we] may be healed” (James 5:16 ESV). If you have sin that you are hiding, I encourage you to find someone you trust and shine a light on it. When you do, you will no longer have to battle it alone. And there is a tremendous freedom that comes with knowing that you have no secrets, and no place where the light of God hasn’t shown.