Diamond sprinkles of stars sparkled overhead in between the masses of unseen trees. The lane to the campfire in the clearing ahead was clothed in warm, black velvet of a late summer night. We had never been to this park, to this site before and had no idea of the terrain between the parking spot and the campfire area. We switched on our flashlights and hoped the batteries would last, as we pointed one at our feet where the next step would be placed, hoping to avoid holes and outcroppings of rocks. We pointed the other beam just ahead to see if the pathway climbed or turned to skirt unknown brambles, and we continued walking with increasing confidence as our eyes adjusted to the dark.
Our journey through life is like that, as if we’re walking in the dark.
So much of the path ahead is unknown. (It is God’s grace that we don’t have to know all of tomorrow’s sorrows.)
There are potholes to fall into,
rocks to trip over,
mud to suck off your boots,
and prickly branches that can grab and pull you aside.
But there is also great beauty:
constellations spinning overhead,
crunch of leaves underfoot,
and fresh incense of pine needles quietly crushed
sweet smoke tickling your nose,
wafted by the warm caress of a breeze.
We’re given enough light to make the journey a step at a time–to avoid some of the pitfalls and to see some of the glory around us.
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. NIV Psalm 119:105
God’s words in Scripture and the God himself are our lamp and our light.
For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, Proverbs 6:23 NIV
You, Lord, are my lamp 2 Samuel 22:29 NIV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, . . . John 1:1,4,5 NIV
It takes faith to step into the dark, to put one foot in front of the other when you can’t see more than a few feet ahead;
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 NIV
faith that the lamp won’t go out and that there will be enough light for the next step;
faith that, even if the way ahead seems blocked, that a way will open;
faith that detours are for a good reason, because God sees what we cannot.
The garden path in this photo leads, eventually, to the house of a lovely, Christian woman whose sweet spirit and faithfulness I admire. I would walk up these steps into the darkness because I trust who she is and her care for my well-being.
We trust in the one who lights our footsteps, the one who doesn’t want us to stumble over rocks or become mired in mud, the one who has seen the end of the journey. We all, each day step into darkness, but it’s all right because we trust the one who takes the journey with us.
. . . you’ve got my feet on the life path,
all radiant from the shining of your face.
Ever since you took my hand,
I’m on the right way. Psalm 16:11 The Message
night sky photo by freedigitalphotos.net