June 2009 


Oh my GOSH it’s absolutely fabulous outside. Ninety-two degrees and the sun is beaming brightly like the beautiful star it is. I am basking in the warmth of summer in Tennessee and thanking God for this magnificent sizzling weather. Woe to those of you who complain that it is too hot. You should move to Wisconsin where I grew up and live in the frozen tundra for a while and then you’d appreciate your lovely state and its smothering heat!


Okay, I admit I may be a bit weird (weather preferences being only one example).  I actually like sitting in a hot car.  After leaving the comfort of air conditioning, I will purposely keep the windows shut in my car for a minute and bake in the penetrating heat of the sun’s rays.  Ahhhhhhh.  It’s heavenly.


The sun gives us more than heat though – it is our primary source of natural light.  Shining brilliantly, its powerful streams pour light into dark places and help us see our way – even at night when its light is reflected by the moon.


But did you know that we have been given another, even stronger source of light?  The Bible teaches us that God’s Word is “a light for our path and a lamp for our feet” (Psalm 119:105).  It keeps us safely on course, guiding our steps through this crazy and often gloomy world.  Jesus himself is the Light of the World.  Apart from God, we are prone to fall into temptations and succumb to the shadows of sin.  But even in the darkest of hearts and homes, the permeating light of God’s presence brings the revelation of truth and the promise of life.  No one can outshine God!


Darkness can be scary.  Have you ever been in a dark place spiritually?  Whether that was a fleeting feeling, a persistent sin in need of eradication, or the permeating emptiness of a life void of God’s presence, the reality and sensation of spiritual darkness can powerfully paralyze us with fear and a lack of purpose and hope.  In spiritual darkness we stumble through endless nights of nothingness, seemingly unaware (or apathetic, or possibly even antagonistic) of God’s hand reaching out to us in love. 


Thank God for not giving up on us!  Thank God for His persistent Spirit, patiently waiting through our wayward wandering, and doggedly pursuing and drawing us to Himself -- the true Light.  By saying yes to God, we start experiencing the blazing brightness of real life.  We begin to see things in a whole new light, our souls awakened like a fresh morning to who we really are and the relationship God designed us to have with himself.  He is our Bright Morning Star.  With him, hope dawns and joy rises.  And when we walk with him daily in that light, our life’s path and purpose can finally be clearly seen.


We are no longer trapped in darkness.  Though its murky allure and mystery may still intrigue us, we can now see past its deceptions and turn back towards the light of truth.  And since our minds have been enlightened and our hearts lightened, we can then bring others into the light.  Jesus tells us not to hide the light of his love under a bushel basket but let it glow through our words and actions.  When we do life God’s way, people will see Jesus shine through us like the Son he is.


For confirmation of these illuminating truths, take a few minutes to read, consider and contemplate these verses:


“…it will happen, when they are hungry, that they will be enraged and curse their king and their God, and look upward.  Then they will look to the earth and see trouble and darkness, gloom of anguish, and they will be driven into darkness.”  (Isaiah 8:22)


“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwell in the land of the shadow of death – upon them a light has shined.” (Isaiah 9:2)


“The Lord is my light and salvation.  Whom shall I fear?”  (Psalm 27:1)


“The sun shall no longer be your light by day; nor will the moon’s brightness give light to you.  But the Lord will be to you an everlasting light….”  (Isaiah 60:19)


“You are the light of the world – like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see.  Don't hide your light under a basket!  Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all.  In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”  (Matthew 5:14-16)


“I am the light of the world.  He who follows me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life!”  (John 8:12)


When I was young, like most kids, I feared the dark – especially in my bedroom at night since that’s when all the boogeymen come out to play!  To calm the fearful hearts of children, some parents use a nightlight.  Others might give their kids a flashlight.  Motel 6 says they’ll “leave the light on for you.”  (I guess even adults get creeped out in the darkness!)  


I used to have a glow-in-the-dark cross that I taped to the wall, right next to my bed.  That glowing cross gave me a sense of God’s comfort and protection throughout those daunting night hours.  But a number of years ago, I came across a Bible verse that promises something even better.  It’s from Daniel 2:22 and goes like this:


“He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.” (RSV)


Another version puts it this way:


“He opens up the depths, sees in the dark - light spills out of him!”  (The Message)



What I get from this verse is that God knows all about my boogeymen, and they can’t hide from his light.  Light literally emanates from him and evaporates the darkness, and exposing whatever lurked there.  So I don’t need to be afraid. God himself has become my Ultimate Nightlight!  Is that cool or what?!


I will always enjoy baking in the hot sun.  But my real passion is basking in the light and love of God’s Son.  Grab some of those rays and you will definitely have a great summer!