Wednesday, October 14, 2020

No light for my way


The Big Idea: God's Word brings light to even the darkest of situations in our life.

The funny thing about being a city girl is that there is always light somewhere. Even in the dead of night, street lights spill into the streets. Trying to see star constellations in the sky can be a real challenge in the city.

When I moved to Guinea, West Africa to a rural location I studied the language and culture of the people. I learned that in that culture a full moon night was perfect for an outdoor party, sharing songs and stories. In fact, one night when I was staying a couple days with my former language helper, we climbed to a high point with her husband with guitar in tow and the kids. We sang and laughed under the full moon and told stories. I learned to enjoy a full moon walk with friends. However, I made sure if it was not a full moon, I would have a flashlight with me after dark.

I taught Bible classes and was the Bible Institute nurse. That meant in addition to my dispensary hours, if there was an emergency or a baby to be born, I made a house call. One day I was called to a case. I think it was a baby delivery, but my memory on that is not so clear. What is clear is that I left the student living quarters after the crisis thinking I had enough time to get back home with the campus lights still on. We had campus electricity till 10 pm every day.

About 100 feet from my house the lights went out. Not far. I'll be fine, I told myself. Not. It was totally a moonless night. I could not see my hand 3 inches from my eyes. It was a clear straight way. There were palm trees on each side of the path. But that was a good reason not to keep riding my bike. I stood there a few minutes and hoped to get clearer vision as I got used to the dark. I hoped to see or hear something. Nothing. I ended up abandoning my bike to retrieve the next day and feel my way on my hands and knees for the edges of the path, hoping there were no snakes or army ants along the way. I was never so happy to reach my porch as I was that night!

I had been working on memory verses with ladies who could not read much. We had been working on Psalm 119:26  "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."

That night was my most vivid lesson of the reality of Scripture.  You see, the cultural times of King David of the Bible, when he was in the countryside, was probably similar to my life in Guinea. King David probably wrote that verse about the Word as a lamp. At night you need a lantern or you are toast. This metaphor of God's Word being a lamp to our feet and light to our path is a very practical one. It is not so startling when you never have total darkness. But when you are in complete darkness and can barely see where your path goes, you need light. Even a small light. A small light may just show you the next couple feet of the path. But that is OK. You have what you need to move forward.

Life is like that sometimes. Dark. Confusing. I have not always  known what my next step should be. But I have found that leaning on God's Word, reading it, meditating on it, studying it, has given me guidance and hope one step at a time.

I absolutely love all the verses in the Bible about light. There are a couple of them specifically about the Word of God in addition to Psalm 119:26.

The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130 ESV

For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life.  Proverbs  6:23

You will shine among them [the wicked] like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. Phil 2: 15-16

If you are going through a difficult, dark period, or just concerned about the state of our world, look to God's Word, the Bible to illuminate your way ahead.

Up Next: Popcorn prayers and other prayers on-the-go

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1. When you were in a dark, difficult season of life, did you find a Bible verse that comforted or helped you? Did you think of going to the Bible for help?

2. Ask a Christian friend what a favorite verse is to help them in hard times. 

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