Flecks of pink and orange winked at us between the needles of shortleaf pine. Turning off the Blue Ridge Parkway, my husband geared down our car to ascend into a higher elevation. The December sun descended quickly, and by the time we located our last turn, darkness enveloped our Honda CRV. Night falls rapidly in the Smokies.
Parking on the gravel drive, we quickly realized the cabin lay beyond the beacon of our headlight. Picking our way up the narrow pebble pathway appeared impractical without further illumination. Hauling luggage in the dark seemed impossible.
Fortunately, ever since our earthquake experience, I travel with a pocket flashlight in my purse. But even with the beam from three triple-A batteries, I still couldn’t see the way. Our shaft of light merely picked up the eyes of a creature staring at us from the woods. We hesitated, uncertain of our options. But once we decided to forge ahead, we found the pinpoint of light most effective when pointed at our feet. We made our way to the cabin — one step at a time.
Today, most of us find ourselves in the black dark of night. The glare of anxiety peers at us from the shadows while tragedy, trauma, and turmoil immobilize us from moving forward. Uncertainty envelops our pathway, and we stand paralyzed with fear.
Yet, let’s remember we do have a light source. Rather than crying for night to turn immediately into day, we must utilize the torch He provides. His Word is the lamp for our feet (Psalm 119:105). Seventeenth-century Thomas Manton reminds us, “The use of a lamp is by night, while the light of the sun shineth by day.”
This Word, which became flesh, is ideally suited to lighting the valley of shadows (John 1:14; Psalm 23:4). Although His Word may sometime seem like a single-wicked lamp, this light is enough. Despite the very presence of evil, we will not fear because He is with us. “Be anxious for nothing. The Lord is near” (Philippians 4:6,5).
The same Creator Who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness” is the One Who grants the treasure of His brilliance to illuminate our way. Unfortunately, when situations are blackest, we impatiently disregard “The light of the knowledge of the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 4:6). But rest assured, “The unfolding of (His) Word gives light” (Psalm 119:130).
By implanting His Living Word within us, He assures enough insight for one step at a time (James 1:21). Standing daily in His Light is the way to see just a little bit farther. “In Thy Light, we see light” (Psalm 36:9).
One day, the Mighty Morning Star will dissolve our shadowy faith into sight (2 Peter 1:19). Until then, the Father of Lights offers us daily enlightenment through His Word (James 1:17). We need not fear the darkness for it’s merely the absence of light. As Blake Healy says, “The battle isn’t about whether light can defeat darkness; the battle is about whether the light is on or not.”
Precious child of light, the Light within you is on. Your eyesight may be dim and your fears many, but He grants you enough light for today. Your responsibility is to take one more step. There will be enough light. He has promised.