I almost burned the breakfast this morning. I had just turned on the stove to cook sausage patties when my son asked me to come outside and watch him practice soccer. Even though I’d already turned on the porch lights, he was uneasy about being outside alone in the dark. The crickets and cicadas were chirping and the yard beyond his soccer net was still cloaked in darkness.
So, I went out and watched him practice for a while. After quite a few minutes, I suddenly remembered the sausage I’d started earlier. I raced inside just in time to flip the patties before they burned.
As I reflected on the morning and my near breakfast disaster, I started to wonder why we are so afraid of the darkness, even when our current place is illuminated. My son’s practice spot had lights, but it was the darkness beyond that scared him.
Your Word Is a Lamp Unto My Feet
Danger and uncertainty lurk in the darkness. Without the light, we cannot see which way to go. We feel exposed and unprotected.
“Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,Psalm 112:4 (NIV)
for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.”
In ancient times, the only lights were small oil lamps. These lamps were no more than a palm-sized bowl, filled with oil and a single wick. They provided just enough light to illuminate a small area around you. With their open tops, they were better suited for indoor use, not walking around outside.
Take a Step, Take a Step
Have you ever been in total darkness? For a city kid, used to the light pollution that keeps our skies somewhat illuminated all night, my first camping trip was quite a shock. The first night, I was plunged into utter darkness. I couldn’t even see my hands stretched out before me. How welcome was the light of our campfire!
My life sometimes feels like such darkness. The night descends around me and I can’t see the path forward. I’m uncertain about the path I’m supposed to take and I’m afraid of the dangers and unknowns beyond my current spot. I’m tempted to stay put where the light still illuminates.
Yet, God calls us to follow the path he lays before us. Often, he will only illuminate one step at a time, lighting our way with a small oil lamp.
“You, Lord, are my lamp;2 Samuel 22:29 (NIV)
the Lord turns my darkness into light.”
He calls us to trust him, even in the dark, stepping forward even though we cannot see the rest of the path. Take a step, take a step, keeping your eyes fixed on God and the single steps he shows you to take.
Trust God’s Light to Show the Way
I understand my son’s reluctance to go outside alone in the dark. Even though his spot was lit, he couldn’t be sure what was beyond.
I’m often tempted to treat my life in the same way. I’m reluctant to venture out and take that next step, because I can’t see what lies beyond. I don’t know where the next step will take me. I’m reluctant to leave the safety of what’s known.
God calls us to follow where he leads, fixing our eyes firmly on him and trusting he will lead us on the right path.
“Let your eyes look straight ahead;Proverbs 4:25-26 (NIV)
Fix your gaze directly before you
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
And be steadfast in all your ways.”
What Step is God Illuminating for You?
Are you surrounded by darkness? Unsure where to step next? Uncertain about venturing beyond the known, into the next step you see coming into light?
While we’d all love a big floodlight to show the way, God only promises us a small light. He shows us just enough to step, but requiring us to trust him completely with the rest of the path. He asks that we release our desire to know the destination and all the twists and turns along the way, instead trusting him to lead us through.
“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneerHebrews 12:2 (NIV)
andperfecter of faith.”
What step is God illuminating for you? Will you step forward?
“Your word is a lamp for my feet,Psalm 119:105 (NIV)
A light on my path.”
How Will God’s Word Be a Lamp Unto Your Feet?
How are you allowing the Word of God to be a light in your life?
Are you following the light of God and allowing him to lead and direct you? Are you staying where you are, afraid to trust God and venture out into the darkness? Or, are you trying to light your own torch and make your own path?
Where is your gaze fixed? Are you focused on the things of this world or is your gaze firmly fixed on God?
Prayer for God to Light Your Way
O Lord, your Word is a lamp unto my feet. Show me the way in the darkness, illuminating the path you have chosen for me. When I’m uncertain and afraid, fill me with your strength, reminding me you are by my side. Help me to trust in you, O Lord, knowing you will lead me through the darkness and into your light. I will fix my eyes on you, Lord, following the light of your path, allowing the path of the world to fade away. Lead me, Lord, and show me your way. Amen.
“Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”
By Helen Howarth Lemmel, 1918
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conqu’rors we are!
His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
Learn How to Trust God
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