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You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light (2 Samuel 22:29).
Father, I praise you because you are light and in you there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). Through Jesus Christ, your light shines into the world, dispels darkness and gives us the light of life (John 8:12). With you as my light and my salvation I shall fear no one (Psalm 27:1). Amen.
Darkness spread its star-studded cape across the sky as we turned the sailboat into Gowlland Harbor. We’d enjoyed a delightful visit onboard with friends while watching Alaskan cruise ships glide through the Inside Passage. Together we’d “ooh-ed” and “aah-ed” the sunset as God splashed pinks and golds across the sky.
But now the darkness presented a challenge. Let me explain…
Little islands dot our local waters like sprinkles on a birthday cake. Experienced sailors maintain a healthy respect for these islands. They keep their boats a safe distance from them, knowing that jagged rocky reefs lie under the water’s surface.
High tides easily cover reefs, allowing for safe travels. As the tide drops, many of these rocks are exposed. Some, however, still hide mere inches beneath the water’s surface. A skipper must be alert at all times but especially at night lest he run the boat into hidden rocks and rip a hole in the vessel’s hull.
Gene wasn’t about to take chances. “Take the tiller, Matthew,” he instructed. “We’ll use the spotlight.”
Matt reached for the tiller. He studied the shore’s dark outlines and steered the boat down the center of the passage as Gene rummaged through the storage locker. “Here it is,” he said, pulling out the hand-held light. “Just what we need.”
Gene carried the light to the boat’s bow and flicked the switch. A light beam equal to a million candles’ glow instantly lit our route. Gene scanned the water and surrounding islands with the spotlight. Each time he saw a potential danger, he positioned the beam directly on it. Using the light as his guide, Matt steered the sailboat safely back to the dock.
Sometimes our circumstances surround us like black night. A teenage daughter confides, “I’m pregnant.” The doctor delivers a diagnosis: cancer. The boss apologizes for cutbacks and hands us a pink slip. We can’t see our way; we’re fearful and unsure of how to respond.
But God’s presence in our lives is like that spotlight. It slices through the darkness and calms our fears. He lights our path and directs us from danger’s way when we cry to him.
Sometimes God uses his written Word to guide us. His directives and promises guard us from shipwreck if we obey them. Attempting to live without his guidance is like navigating through a rock-riddled harbor at night without proper equipment, hoping to dodge the dangers. God gives us a choice.
Shipwreck would have been certain if Matthew had chosen to say, “Thanks, but no thanks, Dad. I don’t need the light. I can do this on my own.” Doing so would have been foolish, just like navigating through life while ignoring God, the true Light of the world.
By following the light, however, Matt maneuvered the boat through potential danger and docked safely.
And so it is with our lives. We can choose wisely, walking in the light of God’s presence through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Light of the world. By doing so, we’ll avoid the dangers of sin and self-reliance.
Dear Father, thank you for the light you’ve provided through Jesus Christ and your written Word. Help me walk in that light, and as I do so, to show others the way. Amen.
1. Have you invited Jesus, the Light of the world, to guide you through life? If the answer is yes, write a short prayer thanking him for the light of his presence in your life. If the answer is no, you can invite him to do so now.
2. God loves you more than words can say. Thank him for his wonderful, unconditional love for you.
Father of light, you’ve said that those who walk in the light of your presence are blessed. I pray it would be true of __________. May she exult in your righteousness and rejoice in your name all day long (Psalm 89:15,16). I pray that she will live as a child of light, finding out what pleases you. May she have nothing to do with deeds of darkness, but have courage to expose them (Ephesians 5:8-11). Amen.
One More Peek