Night Light

"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."
-- Plato

After spending two or three nights away from home, when I wake up in the middle of the night in my own bed again, I cannot remember which direction to go to get to the bathroom. There is temporary disorientation, and the fact that the room is mostly dark does not help. I may end up stumbling or running into something. Cutting on the light would help, of course, but there's Audrey to consider. She is sleeping soundly, and I hate to wake her.

Still, stubbing my toe on the corner of the dresser and crying out in pain tends to wake her up anyway.

We are living in a dark world, and it seems to be growing increasingly so.

"The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble."--Proverbs 4:19
 
"Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness more than light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be  exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” -- John 3:19-21

Three things help me to stay within the circle of the spotlight that God is shining on my life---

1. His Word
"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.." -- Psalm 119:105
 
"The unfolding of your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.
" -- Psalm 119:130

By daily reading and meditating on scripture, God shows me the road ahead and helps me to get my bearings in an often-confusing time. The Bible is like the flashlight on my phone. I keep it close and ready for emergencies, too. Sometimes it shows me that the things I fear are not real at all-- only just my imagination, running away with me. Or the sounds I hear breaking the silence are just the normal creaking of the house and not the footsteps of an intruder. Best to be safe and not sorry, though. To check everything out by looking to God's Word.

2. His Way
"God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin."—1 John 1:5-7

The closer I stay in step with Jesus, the safer will be my journey.  As a disciple of Jesus, I am called to follow Him wherever He goes. It might not always be where I personally want to go, but if I will just follow on, trusting that He knows where He is going, it will be best.

This also means a daily reckoning with the sin in my life—confessing and forsaking it—and the cleansing that His blood provides.

3. My Fellow Walkers
" ...we have fellowship with one another," the verse says.

The second century theologian, Tertulian, said: "A Christian alone is no Christian.”
 
While that may not be technically true, as we become Christians by personally and individually receiving Christ into our hearts—it certainly is true on a practical level. The simple fact is that I think, talk, believe, and act better when I am with other Christ-followers. Left to just myself I am not very good at living for God. My group of fellow-travelers, the church, helps me to stay out of dark places. They pull me back into the light when I step outside of it. And I try to do the same for them.

All of this is true the older that I get, too. I need to walk with the lights on. There's too much to risk by stumbling and falling now.

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