Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Light of Life

"To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, 
to guide our feet into the way of peace."  
Luke 1:79  (KJV)


If anyone has read this blog over the past several weeks, it would have been outside the realm of possibility to not feel and sense the black darkness from which each word was wrenched.  
The place from which it has been penned is pitch black with no light...not even a peep.  
A dark dungeon of despair, pain, and hurt.
What more can I say?
It is where I am right now.
It is where we have all been or where we will all find ourselves...at some point....on the path of life.
Because we have one thing in common.
We are in the human condition.
Everybody hurts.

You, faithful reader, have walked and are walking through the valley of the shadow with me.
It is a very big, foreboding, all-encompassing, all-consuming shadow.
The word "through" means "in one side and out the other side of:  from end to end of."
It indicates and suggests that there is a beginning and an end.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..."
It is not a permanent place.
It is a temporary experience.
I'm glad it says "through" and lets me know that the gloom will not last forever.
Could anyone honestly endure it?  
Forever?

There is an "other side" to this shadow.
And the beginning of the "other side" is a moment when something truly remarkable and absolutely amazing begins to happen.
Somehow, by utter mystery, the tiniest, almost unseen, minute, little dot appears.
It is just a dot.  Nothing more.
Nevertheless, it is a dot.
Of light.

Anything greater would consume and devour and destroy....and blind....the eyes of one so accustomed to the darkness.
So, it comes gently...softly...on tiptoe feet, and it waits.
Until, for the briefest of moments, I raise my head...in the blackness....toward the hills.
The tears stop...just long enough for me to dare to look up.
I don't even notice it...the dot.....at first....so consumed, so enveloped....by the dark....am I.

But like the early morning dawn breaking softly over hills encompassed by dark shadows of night, through the open eyes of my upturned face, I spot it for the first time.
Could it be??
Is it feasible?
I blink my eyes, wipe away the blinding tears that come unbidden and unnoticed...
so accustomed to them...I have become.
And I stare.
I fix my eyes.
It is like a feast, a smorgasbord...placed there with all the trimmings.
Dropped by Divine Providence.....directly and strategically into my upward line of vision.  
Into this hopeless dungeon of despair...this abode into which I was so forcefully dragged...against my will.  
Where I have been held captive...day after anguished day.

There it is.
It is light.
The tiniest ray streaming in, through a tiny hole...at the top...of my dungeon....that I never noticed before.
As a matter of fact, I don't think it is just that I have never noticed it.
I honestly don't think it was there...before this moment.

But God's Word is sharper than any two-edged sword.
You could search the world over and never find an instrument more keen....
more capable of slicing the blackest of darkness.
Of boring a hole through this Alcatraz....of pain and grief.

The piercing moment....of me spotting that tiny dot...of light...came as Zachary and I worked on school.
Thank God in Heaven above for Christian homeschool curriculum writers, editors, and publishers.
I hope and pray with all my heart that a special reward be given to the men and women who devote their time and lives to writing such God-soaked texts and learning material.
How many times has God spoken to me through their endeavors....as I use them to teach my child?

We were reading Zach's literature book...together.
Suddenly, there it was.
My dot of light.
It was none other than HIM...the living, breathing WORD of God...speaking....right to me.
His precious words...written and recorded by His beloved disciple and cousin, John.
I read the words.
They sank deep....I could feel them....penetrating....boring a hole.....dropping....falling....into the very bottom of my broken heart.
"I am the Light of the world:  he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."  (Emphasis mine.)
John 8:12 (KJV)

LIGHT!
Hope sprang within my tortured soul as my determined eyes fixated on that shiny dot, miraculously creating a shiny ray now penetrating and falling on the dingy black floor....of this dungeon.

Jesus loves me too much to leave me here...imprisoned, held captive in despair's clutches.
He, the precious Light of the world...sought....me....out.
He pursued me.
He found me.
He loves me.

With His Word, He created the world...in the beginning.
With His Word, He said, "Let there be light", and there was light.
With His Word, He pierced through the layers of the shadow of death....this dreaded, horrible blackness shadowing my inmost spirit, and He reached a placed inside of me, with hope's gentle voice.

HOPE!

He didn't promise that I would never walk through the valley of the shadow.
What He said is if I would follow Him, He would light the path......through it.
That even now...right here...if I follow Him, I will not walk in darkness....blindly, stumbling, bumbling, groping, fearing each step, unable to see the obstacles in front of me, hoping I don't completely fall.
He promised me that I would have the LIGHT of life!

Today's passage of Scripture, (Luke 1:79), spoke volumes to me.
I sat and read it and my mouth literally fell wide open.

Zacharias, spoke these words.
He prophesied right after the birth of his son, John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus Christ.
He knew John's role.
He knew Jesus' role.
He realized the Messiah's birth would shortly follow the birth of his son, John.
And that with His birth, He would bring hope and light....to a sin-darkened world.

"To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death
to guide our feet into the way of peace."  

To give light to them that sit in darkness.
To give light to them that sit in the shadow of death.
To lead them out.
To see me through.
To show the way.
To light the path.
Out of this pain.

Day after day, since I first spotted it, I am making the conscious choice to fix my eyes on that dot...of light.
I feel Jesus, the Light of life, walking beside me, when I'm able to take a step.
He doesn't rush me.
He tenderly stands beside me, holding me up, quietly waiting.
He isn't in a hurry.
I'm keeping my eyes on Him.
I'm reminding myself often that He absolutely knew what was best....for Mom.
He keeps reminding me that He knows what is best for me, too.

I am SO glad He has appeared.
He came when I was ready to lift my head upward.
He was there waiting...my precious Light.

How precious His presence!
How welcome His light!
How blessed am I...to have Him so near.







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