Traveling In The Dark

I enjoy reading about the origins of words and phrases; for example, do you know the origin of the phrase, “good night, sleep tight?”  In times past, there were no box springs as we have today.  The mattress would lay across a myriad of thin ropes which, after every night’s sleep, would have to be pulled tight before a person crawled into bed the next night.  If they didn’t, the mattress would sag, making for a very uncomfortable sleep.  Hence, the saying of well wishes for the person to have a,  “good night and sleep tight.”

I read of something else very interesting to do with the verse found in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”  During Bible times, when caravans would travel, perhaps from Egypt to Jerusalem, bringing their goods for sell and trade, they would travel day and night to get to their destination.  In order to travel at night they would have their servants go before the teams of wagons and horses carrying lamps to light the road ahead.

At times when individuals traveled through the night they would actually attach lamps, by way of a leather holder, to the front of their legs while carrying a lamp in their hands as well.  This helped the traveler to better see the potholes or large stones in their way.  Without the lamps they could easily fall and get hurt or lose their way altogether.

When the writer of Psalm 119 wrote, “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path,” the reader of that time would know exactly the importance of that verse.  Just as lamps were a requirement for safety to the night traveler, God’s Word offers the same safety as we travel through the darkness of this world.  How easily we can fall when temptations roll onto our path, like a huge stone on the road, ready to trip us and cause us harm.  Often times we don’t know which way to go in our lives, what decisions to make, but with the light of God’s Word, we can better see the direction we should take.

God’s word is the light that reveals truth, that shows us the way, that points to peace, that shows us how to obtain the very strength of God when our own resilience fades away.  When we are in the darkness of despair or sorrow, God’s word lights our difficult path, guiding us to find the answers, granting us wisdom on what we should do, filling us with a holy comfort that the world alone cannot give.  God’s Word is the only light that can pierce any darkness found in this world.

We must all walk through the dark, but we don’t have to walk without the light.

 

 

Beautiful Like An Eagle

I was cutting our grass yesterday riding the tractor lawn mower.  I love being outside, riding and thinking, enjoying being immersed in the nature around me.  At one point a shadow quickly passed over me.  I looked up.  Oh!  An eagle or a hawk!  Probably a hawk, I mused as I watched the magnificent creature glide on the thermals, wings outstretched in splendor.  My heart was filled with an excited joy just in observing this impressive bird.  But, wait!  What in the world!  That’s not a hawk!  That’s a vulture, doing what vultures do, seeking death to satisfy their appetites.  I stared long and hard as the bird dipped and soared higher and dipped again.  How easily I had been fooled.

Then I thought how easily God’s children can be fooled, too, in our spiritual worlds.  Someone comes along, for example, and proclaims himself or herself to be a Bible teacher.  They use their words with authority.  Something doesn’t seem quite right as we listen, but we don’t want to be judgmental, so we quash our thoughts, chiding ourselves for our distrust in this  “brother or sister.”

I’m not talking about making a mistake in Scripture interpretation.  We’re all learning throughout our walk on this earth.  I’m talking about consistent inner feelings of unease that come whenever we hear the words of a particular someone who is proclaiming God’s words.  May I encourage you; don’t forget that the Holy Spirit is residing in you.  He is your best teacher as you listen to others teach and as you study the Scriptures for yourselves. When something isn’t quite right, the Holy Spirit will prick your conscience with unease.  I urge you, brothers and sisters — investigate!  Ask Father to lead you into His peace as you seek truth.  Remember, He has promised that if you seek you will find.

You see, Satan is out to conquer and divide.  He is the greatest illusionist of all time.  The Scripture warns us of him in II Corinthians 11: 13-15, “There are people who are false apostles.  They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ.  I am not surprised!  Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  So, it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.”

These are perilous days.  One has only to listen to the national and world news for a few minutes to know that countries everywhere are in political, moral, and spiritual disarray.  Therefore, Satan and those who follow him in this world are having a heyday, inserting doubt where truth abides, painting themselves as colors of light on canvases of darkness, fooling the fainthearted, seeking to destroy the faith of all God’s followers.

Do not be one of the fooled ones!  Do not accept everything you hear as truth!  Importantly, do not quench the nudging of the Holy Spirit when He warns you of danger lurking!  Pause, pray, seek truth.  You will find it, for that is the promise of the Holy Spirit  to all who come searching for Him.

Remember: not every large winged bird is an eagle, and not every man or woman speaking in the name of Christ is a follower of Him.  You need not be troubled by this fact; you need only be looking diligently, entreating God with an earnest heart, and He, by His sweet Holy Spirit will lead you into His truth.  You may stand alone in your discoveries but do not shrink back in fear of what others think.  It only matters what your Father thinks.  Stand firm in His truth, and His peace will wrap itself around you all your days.