And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
(John 1:5 NKJV).
Fear of the unknown is a powerful adversary.
When I stepped from the sunlit garden into a windowless walkway leading a windowless room all encased in thick stone walls, I froze. The total blackness held me in place as if a hand had reached out and grabbed my throat.
Then I noticed small patches of white imbedded in the stone floor beneath my feet. Refusing to be conquered by the dark, they became guides to direct my steps and keep me moving.
I was no longer lost in a dark place.
Two thousand years ago, the castle builder foresaw people would need a way to navigate through the dark passageways. These stones had been placed to guide my steps.
When we can’t see what’s on the other side or how to get there, we can become so anxious and fearful we freeze. When circumstances beyond our control come unexpectedly into our lives, destroying what semblance of control and thus peace we thought we had, we feel disoriented and confused. Anxiety takes over when we encounter a darkness we can't see through.
What’s going to happen next? What will my tomorrow bring or my future look like?
Without answers to these questions, anxiety takes root. And the fruit of its vine is fear. It creates a life lived in despair of an unknowable future. It can bury us even further in the darkness of depression.
If only we had something to guide us through the darkness.
If only there was something to reassure us there is still goodness and light that cannot be overcome by darkness and chaos.
John 1:5 tells us there is.
It is a light that shines in the darkness—a light so powerful the darkness can’t understand or overcome it. It is a light that shines in every heart as a deep-seated notion there is more to life than just the world we live in. Every heart feels it. Every heart longs for it to be true.
Not every heart sees it.
From the beginning, our Creator knew we would need a way to navigate through the dark passageways of this life. He sent us the Light, His son Jesus Christ—the way, the truth, and the life.
And just like the white stones in the ancient walkways, He has imbedded reflections of His image in the hearts of man.
When we look closely, we will find the presence of light in the hearts of others. Look closely long enough and we’ll see our way forward, guided by reflections of light paving our path.
The smile of a friend, the laughter of a child, the kindness of a stranger—tiny bits of light telling us it’s okay to keep moving. Take the next step.
The darkness will end and one day we will stand in a light so pure and bright it will take our breath away.
This week I challenge you to make a list of these moments as you encounter them. Be generous with your heart and know that nothing you note is too small or insignificant to matter.
Then we should look back at those who follow and ask ourselves what kind of light are we giving off to guide their steps?”
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