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Saturday, April 8, 2017

The road will darken...

Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens. (J. R. R. Tolkien) If our path is easy, well-lighted, and the journey is without much effort, it is likely we will see it through till the end. When our journey is harder than we expected, riddled with dark places and hard problems, and the demand upon both our energy and drive is beyond what we have left to give, we might want to give up or turn to a different course in life. One will get us somewhere, but will it yield the same strength of character?

He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him. 
(Proverbs 2:8 NLT)

Sometimes all we have to hold onto in the midst of dark places is the faithfulness of God in the face of our desire to just turn tail and run! God doesn't abandon us in the dark places - he is there to turn on the light switch! As a child, we may have been frightened of the darkness, experiencing all kinds of imaginary "monsters" come alive in the images portrayed on our mind's "big screen". Mine were those who lived in the bathroom, coming deep from within the churning waters of the toilet, somehow there to steal me away in the darkness of night, but never there in the day. What is it about the light that makes the same path seem so much more "do-able"?

I think it might just be the evidence of what is seen. Even when we see the hugeness of the issues before us, in the light we can begin to bring them down to size. In the darkness, we don't fully comprehend their size, making it easier to imagine them as giants in our path which will never be removed. Where light exists, the "hugeness" of the issue is brought down to size! Where God's presence resides, there is no ability for imagined giants to alter our path or change our course!

Light comes in various ways. On a dark winter's night, when clouds abound and winds howl, the subtle light from the moon hidden away beneath their layers, the blackness of night seems deeper and darker, doesn't it? In the fullness of the moon's glow, the shadows cast in the darkness show us the things in our path are still there, but they aren't as much of an obstacle for us because we have a general knowledge of their presence. Yet, even in the darkest of places, we can have the teeniest hint of light, coming from the places of depth within us, hidden away for such a moment as the one we face at that moment. That teeniest of light sparked by the Word of God that took hold perhaps many, many days before begins to break through the darkness. In that tiny ray of light comes hope and courage and peace and renewed purpose.

This is why God tells us to hide his word deep within our hearts - because he knows we will need that light at some point where darkness invades and obstacles abound. He knows we will cower in fear without that glimmer of light - but oh when it comes forth, the fear vanishes and the shadows cast away make it possible to step out again in faithful abandon to the truth that will guide us through. Just sayin!