Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12 (NLT)
My state is known for its unpredictable weather. Last winter season, we had spring-like highs and little to no snow. This season has also seen little snow but there were no spring-like highs in store. We have had below freezing temperatures for days on end, freezing drizzle and rain, and lots and lots of ice. Last week I was caught by surprise by an ice storm that was not predicted to involve my part of the state. So I was quite unprepared when ice accumulation caused power lines to go down.
One minute I was on my computer reading email. The next minute it was pitch black in my house. Using the light from my cell phone, I navigated to the utility room to find my lantern. This usually throws out a good amount of light. But because I wasn’t prepared, the batteries were dead and I didn’t have the right kind to put in there. Now what?
Then I remembered the large candle tucked away in a cupboard. I remembered using this candle in blackouts in the past but hadn’t lit it since I got the lantern. I carried the candle to my desk, found my candle lighter, and soon a soft, welcoming glow was surrounding me. This “candle in the darkness” gave me hope and spoke to me about Jesus – and about myself.
Jesus wants to be our light in the darkness. He wants to be our hope in the middle of hopelessness. He wants to be the One who lights our way and leads us on the path He wants us to follow. If I just kept this candle close to me, I would always have hope and always know the way to go.
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105 (NLT)
Maybe it’s been a season of darkness in your life and it’s been getting more and more difficult to navigate. Perhaps there have been setbacks and disappointments and your hope is fading. A simple prayer is all you need. “Jesus help me.” This simple prayer, offered in faith and trust, can become a “candle in the darkness” for you. Giving you strength to continue, hope for a brighter future, renewed faith and trust. Lighting your way along the path Jesus wants you to take.
Once you know and feel the light of Jesus, you, too, can become a “candle in the darkness” for someone else. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT) – “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
In this passage, Jesus is telling us that once we know and feel the light that Jesus brings, we are to share that light with others. Maybe this means being a beacon in the dark for your mom or dad, your aunt or uncle, your siblings, or your friends. And how can you be this light? By sharing Jesus’ love, forgiveness, and mercy with others. By loving unconditionally and persevering in prayer. By sending up a simple prayer, offered in faith and trust. “Jesus help them.”
But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears. Psalm 18:6 (NLT)
A Stander in Nebraska