I remember the darkness. As the sun descended in its timely manner, a black cloak settled over our home and our neighborhood. With no power for over a week, we had to learn how to navigate our way from room to room in the darkness.
The windstorm that knocked down trees and power lines helped me appreciate something I had taken for granted ~ power and light. Without a light source, it's difficult to find my way without running into or tripping over an unexpected obstacle. It was especially unnerving when I was home alone. If I didn't pick up a candle, flashlight, or a charged cell phone, I had to grope my way from one room to the next.
The windstorm taught me a valuable lesson. I can find myself walking in another dimension of darkness. The days I don't go to my source of Light, God's Word, I am setting myself up for a collision course. Fumbling my way through the daily maze, I forget I have the source of Light with me. It's always there, but I need to activate it so it can illuminate my path.
God's word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105) ~
When I am overwhelmed ~ "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens." (Psalm 68:19)
When I am weak ~ "Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He pronounced." (Psalm 105:4,5)
When I feel defeated and hopeless ~ "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)
When I am upset ~ "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God." (Psalm 42:11)
When I don't know which way to turn ~ "I will instruct you and teach you the way to go; I will counsel you and watch over you." (Psalm 32:8)
When I am perplexed ~ "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5,6)
When I don't know what to do ~ "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5)
When I am burned out and battle weary ~ "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1)
When I feel helpless ~ "I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand." (Isaiah 41:10b)
When I am weary ~ "He will not grow tired and weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." (Isaiah 40: 28-29)
When I am anxious or afraid ~ "The mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace." (Romans 8:6) "Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)
When I wrestle with discontent ~ "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." (Psalm 27:14)
These are all "negatives". But His Light is just as revealing and valuable in the midst of my joys and triumphs. ~
"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song." (Psalm 28:7)
"I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure. You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand." (Psalm 16:8-11)
I learned quickly during that power outage. It wasn't wise to try to find my way in complete darkness when I had a source of light available. Just one small flicker was all I needed to help me move about safely and confidently.
It's equally true in my daily walk. When I begin the day turning to my source of Light, I find what I need to navigate successfully. The worries, the uncertainties, and the things that can be a stumbling block don't go away. But they lose their power to trip me.
"Sink the Bible to the bottom of the ocean, and still man's obligations to God would be unchanged. He would have the same path to tread, only his lamp and guide would be gone; the same voyage to make, but his chart and compass would be overboard!"
~Henry Ward Beecher