Ninety-three million miles away from our planet is nature’s most perfect nuclear reactor: The Sun, the center of our solar system. Eleven thousand degrees at the surface and double that at its core, it squashes atoms like we squash bugs.
If you could capture a pinhead’s worth of that glowing hydrogen and helium, it would radiate enough heat to eradicate everything for 400 city blocks. And yet, after the eight and a half minutes it takes for that energy to reach the earth, it arrives as light, warmth, and life.
What you grow in your garden; the beauty of the changing seasons; every bite of food you put in your mouth; the water that you drink; the fossil fuel you put in your car; the wind that cools the planet: The life and energy of all things originates with and is sustained by the sun.
Your personal health is no exception. For optimal health you must be exposed to the light. Sunlight eases tension, helps your immune system, makes for better sleep, and boosts your metabolism. It makes for healthier bones, lowers blood pressure, reduces your chance of having a stroke, and in general makes you feel better.
Just ask anyone who lives in a northern climate, deprived of sunny days for half a year; or ask someone who is afflicted by Seasonal Affective Disorder. They will testify to the veracity of all these things, with no scientific study required. Is it any wonder, then, that the biblical writers chose “light” as one of their most used metaphors for God?
“Let there be light…Thy word is a light unto my eyes…God’s radiance is like the sunlight…Rays flash from God’s hand…The Sunrise from on high will visit us…Let light shine out of darkness…I am the Light of the world…God is light and in God there is no darkness at all.”
For optimal spiritual health we must be exposed to the light, live in it, and walk in it. Sitting in hardened gloom with the shades drawn, our hearts closed tight to anything that is of God or spiritual, is to die in the darkness. We must allow God to “throw a little light on the subject,” not for the purpose of driving us away, but to pull us toward life.
Far too many times we run from the light, and in so doing, from life itself. Our brokenness, shame, and failures; our fear of being uncovered, of being forced to change, of facing the truth: These can send us scurrying to the baseboards like cockroaches under a kitchen lamp. But if we will be made well and whole, we have to let the light do its good work.
For there is nothing that hurts, is broken, feels dirty, is lost, or must be repaired that can’t be restored by bringing it out of the darkness and into the light. For in God there is life, and that life is the light for all.