The other night our little town had a power outage. The power company said it would last three hours.
My ex-boy-scout husband and I were unprepared. The batteries in our good flashlight were dead and we didn’t have one candle in the house.
Dinner was on the grill so we were covered there but we needed a little light. I made a quick trip to the dollar store where it appeared we weren’t the only ones unprepared for the dark. I picked up a couple of candles and some chips. The need for candles reminded me of hurricane season, and around here, junk food is at the top of the hurricane preparedness list.
I was amazed how much light the little candles gave us as we sat in the living room and ate our dinner in the quiet. The quiet was really nice. No yakkity-yak from the television. No music from Ethan’s iPod. No humming from the dishwasher or washing machine. The quiet was a nice accompaniment to the dark.
Every room except the living room and the kitchen were completely dark. There was no light from the street or from our neighbor’s houses. If I needed something from another room, I just took a candle with me. The candle gave me enough light to do what I needed to do or to find what I needed to find.
My life is a lot like our house was that night. There are rooms in my life that have light. Rooms where there is understanding and purpose. There are rooms where I can see how God is using them to make Himself known and to mold me more into His image. These are places in my life that have been redeemed. They are places of grace.
Then Jesus spoke to them again saying, "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
But, there still remains some dark rooms in my life. Rooms I don’t like. Rooms where there seems to be no purpose and where there is little understanding. They are rooms that I’d like to shut the doors to and pretend they don’t exist. Rooms that are painful. Rooms where I cry.
I know how to bring light to those dark places. All I must do is to open the door and invite The Light to come.
I ask myself why I don’t. Why do I choose to leave them dark? Why do I choose to leave them unredeemed and without grace?
The Light shows dirt. He shows what must be cleaned-up and put in order. The Light shows what is hurtful to others and to Him. The Light reminds me of the cost for the redemption and the grace that He wants to bring to the dark rooms of my life. The Light reminds me of the cross.
It hurts when The Light begins to shine. As the bright sunshine stings and burns my eyes, His light stings and burns my heart.
But after a little while, The Light brings warmth and life and beauty just like the sun he created on the fourth day.
“The Light always shines the brightest in the dark.”
It was true that night while we were sitting in the living room with our two candles from the dollar store.
And I know it is true of His Light. Nothing remains dark in His presence. His Light brings Grace. The Light of Jesus redeems what has been lost in the dark.
How can I not open the door and ask Him to come into my dark?
I confess my unwillingness to let The Light in. I ask forgiveness for the lack of trust that has kept rooms of my life dark. I ask for the strength to answer His knocking and to open every door.
I pray this week-end that The Light will shine in all of your dark places. That you will feel His warmth on your face and that all the rooms of your life will be filled with grace.
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." Revelation 3:20