I Saw the Light
Deep in the night his mother was driving home to Montgomery. When she saw the lights of the Dannelly Field Airport in Montgomery, AL, she woke up her drunken son in the back seat and said, “I just saw the light.” From this seed, Hank Williams penned the lyrics to one of his biggest hits, “I Saw the Light.” We’ve all sung these words, “I wandered so aimless. Life filled with sin. I wouldn’t let my dear savior in. Then Jesus came like a stranger in the night. Praise the Lord I saw the light. I saw the light. I saw the light. No more darkness no more night. Now I’m so happy, no sorrow in sight. Praise the lord. I saw the light.”
In Genesis the first person to see the light is God. He overcame the deep darkness of the chaotic flooded world, and on the first day of creation turned on the lights. He declared that it was good.
“God said, ‘Let there be light and there was light. And God saw that the light was good, and God divided between the light and the darkness. God called the light day and the darkness he called night. There was evening and morning the first day.” Genesis 1:3-5
My heart broke as I watched Hank Williams sing “I Saw the Light” in Ken Burns latest film documentary on the history of Country Music. Williams looks hollow, thin, weak, and old for a man still in his twenties. Later, we see Willliams riding in his baby blue Cadillac, headed north from Knoxville for a concert in Canton, OH. Charles Carr, a young college student, is at the wheel. When they crossed the Tennessee border, Carr asked, “Want something to eat?” Williams said, “No.” When Carr stopped for fuel and checked on Williams in the back seat, one of country’s greatest super stars was dead. A combination of alcohol, morphine, and chloral hydrate was too much for his heart.
In the Burns special the commentators often stress that Country music flows from the alcohol, partying, and brawling of Saturday night followed by redemption in church on Sunday with its promise of forgiveness and grace. It’s presented as a constant cycle of sin and salvation. The truth is that the real Lord Jesus wants us to stop divorcing Saturday night from Sunday morning.
God is the only one who gives us light and this includes all the beautiful music ever created. And it’s a lie to think that if we come to Jesus, there’s only happiness. Instead, his Spirit desires to progressively give us strength in overcoming the Saturday night temptations and addictions and he promises to be with us in the sorrows until the day when he does promise to get us out of this world alive forever.
LORD, strengthen those who are pouring their lives daily into those struggling with alcoholism and other addictions. Pour your power into their efforts so that there can be deliverance and life, not death. Give wisdom to pastors to teach from your Word that Jesus and your Spirit don’t just promise happiness on this side, but the courage and strength to get through our sorrow and pain. Help me today to sing “Through it all, Through it all. I learned to trust in Jesus … I learned to depend upon his Word.”
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!