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Thy Word Is Not a MagLite

I always experienced safer in the dark when carrying a MagLite. There was some thing about its size, about its heft, about its sheer brightness that produced me feel better, that produced me feel safer, after i would walk through the lonely woods at night. The MagLite was the flashlight of fearless police officers, of well-trained troops, of courageous first responders, so surely it ought to be the flashlight of a terrified young boy who had to create his way from new to cottage in the dark jungles of Eastern Ontario.

The fantastic King David knew some thing about being alone in the dark, for he was a shepherd before he was a king. Where most kings are first princes who invest their youth learning manners in fine palaces, David had spent his youth tending sheep in lone pastures. He had heard the particular first-far-off and then-growing-closer noises of lions and bears as they stalked his sheep. He had led his group through dark and dangerous valleys to the green pastures and still waters that put just beyond. He had been well familiar with the trouble plus travails of navigating the particular darkness.

Later in life, when he had become familiar with different kinds of darkness—the night of betrayal, the darkness of persecution, the darkness of loss, the darkness of shame, the night of sorrow over sin—he sang to God, “Your word is a lamp to a feet and a light to my path. ” As he made his way through life’s difficulties, as he navigated trials, as he was cut to the heart over the depth associated with his sin, he relied on God’s Word being a source of light, a source of spiritual illumination. He was never without guidance, certainly not without help, because he has been never without the Word.

Jesse had no MagLite. He previously no flashlight to project a beam far to the distance. He had no lantern with a reflector to focus the light and enhance its strength. The lamp he knew was but a little wick and a little oil that will cast a little glow. David’s lamp was sufficient to see a couple of steps ahead, but not much farther than that. It did not illuminate the whole way his feet would need to tread, but only the next few footfalls.

And just so , God’s Word does not display us the end from the beginning, will not show us the whole path of our lives or the entire course of our obedience, but just the next step, the next correct thing. God illumines the way, but not our entire way all at once. He stands out a light along our path, but not our whole path. Just as God promises as well as clothing for today although not tomorrow, he provides knowledge and guidance for the next thing, not the ones that come significantly later. Just as we live a day at a time, we have a step at a time, with the light piercing the darkness just beneath our feet.