Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
—Martin Luther King Jr.
“You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light. —2 Samuel 22:29
David had many names for God: Rock, Fortress, Deliverer, Refuge, Shield, Horn of Salvation, Stronghold, Savior … Lamp. What a strange way to refer to God, as a common household object. But the meaning is clear when we read on, “the LORD turns my darkness into light.”
I have always loved to read. When I was a young girl, I used to read late into the night. I tried to find ways to keep my bedside lamp from shining too brightly, thus attracting my mother’s attention to the late hour. Sometimes I was successful, but most often my efforts would be curtailed. Without that lamp, I wouldn’t have been able to read in bed at all.
What would we do at night without our lamps? We couldn’t read or write or do a host of other things in the darkness. Even the light of the moon is not strong enough to enable us to see certain things that are right in front of us.
Many of us have what is termed night vision. We can navigate our homes in the middle of the night without turning on a light. That’s because our eyes become accustomed to the dark after a few minutes of turning off the light. I can walk into the kitchen without a light on, but once there I need to turn on the light so I can see the details around me without knocking something off the counter. Without the light, I wouldn’t be able to navigate further without injuring myself.
Beloved, that’s the way God is with us. Without His light, we can only add to our own pain and misery, never seeing His goodness for all the darkness surrounding us. We need to focus on Him as our lamp in the midst of all our pain and frustration.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, sometimes we’re so blind when it comes to trusting You. How often we seem to be groping around on our own rather than relying on You as our Guide. Help us to always look to You as our lamp shining through the darkness of this life’s painful circumstances. Remind us to trust You to navigate us through the dark waters of our earthly existence. Amen.
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THE LIGHT OF THE MORNING
“And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds.” —2 Samuel 23:4
No single name nor picture of our Lord could possibly reveal Him as the full supply of all our need. Our Lord is to His people not only “The Morning Star” but when the lights of night shall fade in dawning day, He becomes the “Light of the Morning.” When all of the earth has passed, when all earth’s visions fade and flee away, when the great glory of that morning of our eternal life in Heaven shall break upon us, we shall find that He who lighted all our earthly pilgrimage is still our source of life and guidance over there, and will be to those for whom He has prepared a place, the “Light of the Morning.”
“So shall we be forever with the Lord.”
[Taken from Wonderful Names of Our Wonderful Lord, by Charles E. Hurlburt and T. C. Horton]
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” —Matthew 5:14-16
Lighthouses intrigue me. The stories of these fascinating beacons of light never cease to fill me with awe and delight. I love reading the accounts of how these tall pillars of illumination have guided sailors through treacherous seas over and over again through the years. But sadly many lighthouses are fast becoming extinct due to their age and the increased use of the GPS.
I like to compare a lighthouse to God’s love, His “Light of the Morning” for us. That Light goes before us, lighting our way so that we don’t stumble around in the darkness of frustration. Our responsibility then is to share that Light with others, no matter how we’re feeling or what’s going on in our lives each day.
That is God’s command to us—to “let your light shine before men.” It’s the way we can show the “Light of the Morning” to others who may not know or understand Him yet.
If my smile in the midst of my pain causes someone to question how I get through each pain-filled day, then I have left the door open to be able to share what I know about the God I love. That’s my privilege as a child of God: to be His shining Light for others.
I don’t believe the era of lighthouses will ever completely pass away. Electronics are handy to have around but can be prone to
failure. If a mariner’s GPS stops working (no matter the reason), the lighthouse beacon will still be there to light the way past rocky shorelines.
Isn’t that the way it is with God too? It doesn’t matter if in our pain and anxiety we ‘forget’ that God is there, because He doesn’t ‘forget’ us! Our “Light of the Morning” is always there, prodding us away from the rocky shoals of life and gently guiding us to His side.