This adorable picture of my daughter was taken in 2008 at a trip to the Inner Space Cavern in Texas. We are not spelunkers or caving fans, but this was an interesting stop on our way to Spring Break in San Antonio and fit in perfectly with my son’s science unit for school. The two things that stay with me about this adventure are the “chicken nugget bats” that slept all over the walls of the cave and actually did look like little fuzzy chicken nuggets and the darkness. The utter darkness. Notice my daughter and the rock formation behind her are illuminated by my flash, but look around her. It’s pitch black.
Our tour started in broad daylight, the bright, blazing hot sun of Central Texas, and we got in a mine car train and rode down into the cave with a guide. Inside the cave there is lighting along the path but a point in the tour the guide has everyone stand together and turns off the lights so you can experience absolute darkness. It was horrifying. It seemed to wrap around me like a physical presence causing my stomach to flip and my heart to race. There was nothing to see, no shapes, no shadows, simply a total void. I remember trying to take a deep breath to calm down. I didn’t want my kids to realize I was so frightened, but I felt I could not even breathe this black thick air.
After about 60 seconds of gasping and squealing from the tour group the guide turns the lights back on. Sweet relief, breathe, let there be LIGHT! And handprints on now angry children whose mother had instinctively clamped down on their arms in her own fear…
I had forgotten about this experience until the other day at a friend’s home. I noticed a copy of “Josephus’s Discourse to the Greeks” on his bookshelf. This book is one of hundreds on my reading bucket list and I pulled it down and started flipping through it. In his writing concerning Hades, known to us as hell, Josephus states: “Hades is a subterraneous region, wherein the light of the world does not shine, in this region the light does not shine, it cannot but there must be in it a perpetual darkness.” He continues with further descriptions of this dark place, judgment to come and an interesting comparison of sin and sickness and how to recover from both.
The bible states that in the beginning God said, “Let there be Light.” and there was light, God saw that it was good and divided the light from the darkness. (Genesis 1:3&4) The differences between light and darkness continue throughout the Old Testament to the New; Job was brought out of his pit and enlightened with the “light of the living”. ( Job 33:3o) The Psalmist states in 119:105 that “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Jesus himself declares in the Gospel of John that ” I AM the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
You may have never been “spelunking” but if you are experiencing darkness in your life, you too, can have the light of the world with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. “God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5. If you have any questions about how to invite the Light of the World into your life in a personal way, please feel free to leave a comment, or email me for further discussion.
The Lord is my Light and my salvation. Psalms 27:1