"Got a light?" As I stood on the corner waiting to cross the street, a stranger posed this simple question. "No, sorry, I don't smoke" was my courteous yet prompt reply. As the signal changed, we parted ways but the exchange left me thinking.
Here it is - Christmas season, and I don't feel I have much light to offer. It's a season of warm and fuzzy feelings, but my heart is so heavy. Maybe I should take up smoking, that might help me lighten up... literally! I smirked at the irony that I had even apologized for not sharing in my friendly neighbor's addiction. Funny where our thoughts can carry us in an instant. But I'd rather focus on the light, a topic which has been resonating on my mind lately.
Jesus' said , "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12). I am a devoted Christian, and I seek to follow Him with all my heart - so why do I feel enveloped by so much darkness? Today at church, the pastor even spoke on this topic: how Jesus is the light of the world and without him we are like a string of Christmas lights with one missing bulb which ceases to function at all. Lord, life is so difficult already, I can't even imagine what it would be like without Him. Senseless frustration, worthless worry, deep despair... Yet the answer is taking the time and discipline to find that one dysfunctional link and it will all come aglow once again.
I realize much of the heaviness is a matter of focus. It's so easy to see the darkness; it surrounds us to the point of overwhelming; it covers us so thick, it's consuming. Yet Jesus promised we will never walk in darkness - stumbling blindly and hurting ourselves and others without cause. John 1:4-5 says, "In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." As long as we are alive and breathing, His spirit guides us and assures we will have ultimate victory. No matter how dark our circumstances may appear, the battle belongs to the Lord.
Right now your light may be small, it may be flickering, but it's still there. You may need to guard it from the winds that blow for sure! Hold tight to the light of life no matter how much the depths taunt you. As we seek His face, the light will grow stronger, brighter, burning eventually into an all consuming fire. Hopefully, the next time someone asks for a light, I will have much more to offer than a meek apology. In the meantime, with this little light of mine - I persist with baby steps, with one cautious, faithful step in front of the other.