When our children were young, a zealous property owners association board member encouraged everyone in the neighborhood to purchase and place luminaries on the curb in front of their houses each Christmas Eve. Even if we prepared in advance, it was always stressful to get the luminaries in place and lighted before extended family arrived for festivities. Either some of the food burned while we set out the luminaries, or some of the paper bag luminaries burned while we tended to food. Some years it poured rain. Other years it was bitter cold.
But after everyone was gone, and the children were in their pajamas, we’d pile in the car and ride through the neighborhood. The illumination from row upon row of bag lights was beautiful and magical. In those moments, as we drove slowly through the glowing streets, all the hustle and fuss of setting out the luminaries faded as we followed the light.
Light is beneficial in many ways. Light provides warmth, spurs growth, provides direction, serves as a mood elevator, dispels darkness, aids vision, and enhances enlightenment. Light is a beacon to guide our steps and propel us forward.
Light is a Mood Elevator
Some people suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder, a type of depression brought on by the short days and the darkness of winter. Researchers found light therapy to be an effective treatment for SAD. Those who once suffered greatly during the bleakness of winter months find relief in the power of light.
When the children were young and sick, I always dreaded the long nights. I especially remember when they had high fevers, croup, and chicken pox. The darkness of night seemed endless and the misery more intense, but with the rising sun came hope and promise. Light changes perspectives and elevates your mood.
Light Dispels Darkness
Have you noticed that even a tiny patch of light in dark surroundings makes a difference? Uneasiness and fear vanish when light enters the situation.
Perhaps you are dealing with difficult circumstances that paint a dark picture of the future. The uncertainty of your situation swirls around you like thick fog, obscuring the path ahead and casting shadowy unknowns on tomorrow. Don’t lose hope. God is there in the darkness, guiding, lighting your way one step at a time, and providing peace.
Have you reached an impasse, feeling paralyzed about next steps to take to maintain forward motion? Maybe you are too afraid to move because the path is shrouded in darkness.
When I was a young adult, newly graduated from college, my path forward looked murky. Everyone I knew seemed to have it all together. Either they were headed to graduate school, marrying, or secure in a new and fabulous job. On the other hand, I was unsure and floundering.
As I drove home one night, I prayed, “God, I feel like I’ve stepped into a dark room with not even a sliver of light under the door.” Tears blurred my vision and slid down my cheeks. Then, I heard, “Go in the room and close the door and I will turn on the light.”
How often do we try to light our own path instead of allowing God to illuminate our way? His light is brighter and more stable than anything we can manufacture on our own.
Light Propels Us Forward
I love the story of the Wise Men. Their journey was long and their path uncertain, but they didn’t give up. The Wise Men knew the bright star in the sky was significant and were willing to risk much to find the meaning. They followed the light and the light propelled them forward. Because they kept searching, they were rewarded, able to bow in the presence of, and offer gifts to, a child who was the fulfillment of prophecy—a Redeemer and King.
This year, may you come to know the Christ of Christmas in a fresh and deeper way. Allow him to light your path, calm your fears, and dispel your darkness as you trust him for the journey ahead.
“Jesus said to the people, ‘I am the Light of the world. So if you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, for living light will flood your path’” (John 8:12 TLB).
God is there in the darkness, guiding, lighting your way one step at a time, and providing peace.
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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