by Beverly Brown, Set Me Free Ministries Prayer Coordinator
Our pastor began a sermon series several weeks ago titled "Following for the Directionally Challenged." I love that title because as my family will confirm, I am definitely directionally challenged. And so, when I give anyone else directions, it is always the way I would hope to receive the same directions. My husband makes fun of me because they are so specific. For instance, I don't want to be told, "Go to Maple and turn right," but rather, "You will go past an ice cream shop on your right, a donut shop on your left, and then a school. When you see the school, begin to slow down. Maple Street will be a block down. Turn right when you get to Maple." I can hear some of you laughing, because you have gotten directions from me in the past.
And can I just add: I hate driving at night when I'm in new surroundings and unsure of how to get to my destination. I need the light of day to help guide me. So, when the pastor made a simple and, yes, obvious statement that it is difficult to walk in the dark and may actually result in injury, I wrote it down. It appears he tried to do this a few months ago while walking through the church. He said that he still bears scars from the wounds inflicted that night. He noted that it wasn't because lighting wasn't available. In fact, this particular room was very well lit. But—you have to actually turn the lights on to make use of them!
The analogy wasn't lost on any of us. Psalm 119:105 puts it this way, "Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path." Just as a lightbulb in a darkened room or the bright moon on an otherwise dark night helps us see where we are going, God's word illuminates our spiritual path. It gives us the guidance and direction we need to keep us from stumbling and causing injury, sometimes fatal injury!
I'm sure that in time, the pastor's wounds will be completely healed, but the lesson learned will stay with him. Don't stay in the dark when light is available. We are blessed in this country to have access to God's Word. Yet, many of us attempt to maneuver life without the clear direction it gives. We think that somehow we can figure it out on our own. But why do we make it so difficult when we don't need to? Pick up God's Word, read it, and memorize it. As verse 11 of Psalm 119 says, "Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You."
And please permit me to end with just one final scripture that I have made my prayer, because as I said earlier, I know I need clear, detailed directions if I am going to make it to my desired destination:
"Oh, send out Your light and Your truth!
Let them lead me;
Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your tabernacle.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
To God, my exceeding joy…"