The beam from my flashlight guided my steps as I maneuvered around the unfamiliar hospital room. Finding my Bible and journal, I wrapped the blanket around me and settled down on the corner of the roll-away bed. I tucked the flashlight under my chin and, with its light, I began my prayer time with the Lord.
The nurse checking RJ’s vital signs interrupted my solitude. As she exited the room and turned off the lights, I was again surrounded by darkness – except where the beam from my flashlight illuminated. Thank You, Lord, for my flashlight … and batteries which keep it shining brightly.
Memories of the events leading up to this hospital experience, RJ’s weakened condition, and his four blood transfusions weave their way in and out of my prayer time. They are mixed with thoughts of our three months sojourn in the hotel while the foundation of our home is repaired. Trying to stay focused on the Lord while living out of a suitcase for such an extended time has taught me to join Paul in saying, “Whatever state I’m in, I’ve learned to be content.”
I’m not saying the lessons have come easy, nor have they been sought after. But as He continues to mold and shape me, He’s reemphasized to me that He has a plan … and He’s busy at work on His plan. My job is to trust Him and remain yielded to His hands as He rearranges me. I readily admit to you the realignment process is not always pleasant – change never is. When you try to make wine from unripe, hard grapes, the squeezing produces little juice – and is usually very bitter. To produce sweet, fragrant, beneficial wine, the grapes must be soft, pliable, and fully-grown. The journey to maturity takes time and care.
When the pressures and added responsibilities in my pilgrimage try to engulf me, I’ve learned to find a quiet corner, fall on my face, and pour my heart out to my Daddy. Tenderly, He wraps His loving arms around me, wipes the tears from my eyes, lifts me up, straightens my shoulders, and reminds me that pressures are simply opportunities for others to see where I place my trust – in circumstances or in the One who controls circumstances. And I have a choice. Do I really trust Him … in every situation? He’s not just the God who comforts me in hospital waiting rooms and protects me as I travel, He is All-Powerful God and He loves me! He proved it on Calvary. I know He only wants what is best for me for I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day (2 Timothy 1:12b). My focus is now on pleasing the Father for I don’t want to be ashamed when He returns.
His strength fills me and I begin again. I tentatively step out in faith – confidence growing with each baby step – holding tightly to His hand, leaning on His arm, and trusting Him to guide my faltering footsteps. Thank You, Lord, for being my Light and penetrating the darkness.
Many of you, too, face challenging situations. The loss of a loved one, a crippling illness, the painful tearing apart of a marriage, a grievous working condition, or a difficult career decision may try to invade your mind and consume you with discouragement and pity parties. Choose to reach for the Light. His illuminating presence will dissolve the clouds of darkness and despair.
The Lord doesn’t expect us to live by our own strength or knowledge. When we came to faith in Christ, He gave us access to His power; and He’s promised to help us. If He wants us to move a mountain, walk on water, learn to use the computer, forgive someone, overcome temptation, teach a Bible study, evidence His love in our lives, or share the Gospel with someone, we can be sure He has already given us all we need to do it.
When we allow His light to guide our lives, He illumines our pathway, one step at a time, and we can experience peace in the midst of any circumstance. And guess what? We don’t have to be concerned about out-dated batteries, used-up batteries, or if we have enough batteries. No batteries are required! He is the Power Source!
We covet your prayers as we continue in the molding and shaping process. May we be found faithful in the journey … reaching for the Light!
In His grip,