When I was a kid, my dad would open the door to my room, turn on the overhead light, and yell, “WAKE UP! TIME FOR SCHOOL.” In retrospect, he probably didn’t yell at all, but that blaring light was screaming in my eyes.

I hated that light.

Years later, I found a small pleasure in walking into the rooms of my sons, turning on the light, and in a gentle, mild voice, softly telling them, “WAKE UP! TIME FOR SCHOOL.”

Nothing like a good dose of light to wake us up.

Awhile back, I got up in the middle of the night to …. well, never mind why I got up. But instead of turning right, I turned left … into the hall and down the stairs.

I was sleepwalking.

A good dose of light would’ve woken me up. Instead, what woke me was stepping into nothing but air and falling literally head-over-heels down the stairs. Thankfully, we have a very solid, very hard front door to crash into and stop me.

I didn’t break anything except my dignity, but hoo boy, I ached for three weeks.

I have a new appreciation for light and its ability to wake me up.

Jesus is not a 60-watt bulb, but He does provide light. He provides light because He is the light. And He does far more illuminate a staircase. “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world” (John 1:9).

Jesus is that light, and He told us so Himself. During one of the Jewish festivals, Jesus proclaimed, “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). That means that when we embrace the truth of who Jesus is and follow Him, He gives us the direction we need. Light illuminates. It’s a very positive statement.

But let’s consider it from the negative side. The illumination of light also shows us where not to go—like down the stairs. Nothing seems wrong with the way we live our lives, but then we encounter Jesus, and we discover that the things we thought made for a great life were only leading us in the wrong direction.

“There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death” (Prov. 16:25).

The light of Jesus wakes me up to who I am—a rebellious sinner—and leads me to life. And Jesus does more than lead me away from death, He leads me into life.

Jesus is the Light of the world. He is my light. He has shown me the way because He is the Way. Jesus walks with me.

I like where He is taking me.

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This post supports the study “The Light in the Darkness” in Bible Studies for Life and YOU.

Join Lynn Pryor and Chris Johnson as they discuss this topic.