“To walk in the light means that everything that is of the darkness actually drives me closer to the center of the light.” – Oswald Chambers
Imagine that you take a nightly walk, holding your lantern, to a particular destination. Around you is darkness, but because you hold your light, your path is illuminated. In fact, you may occasionally take different routes, turns, and other adjustments to your course. This is no problem for you, because you are holding the light. Perhaps years go by, and you do this journey yourself, never thinking much as you get more comfortable with each journey made.
Then one day … you lose your light.
Lost, you see another distant light, and then a hand reach out into the darkness guiding you back. You don’t know why, but you feel you should follow … so you do. This individual leads you to another that has a light, one that seems brighter in ways you can’t explain. So the journey continues, and while unsure, you decide to follow this new leader.
As you begin you immediately begin to see the struggle as he is taking completely different turns and routes than you ever have. In fact, he is taking what you think to be a much harder way, even the wrong way at times. Yet he now holds the light to illuminate your path. You may think you know where to go on your own, but the darkness prevents you from leaving. Sometimes you try to push the limits, hoping that your distance may even force your leader to follow you, but alas it does not.
The darkness drives you back to the light.
You don’t walk in perfect step with your partner, and even if you try to get as close as possible, you still never have the feeling of control … because … you’re no longer the light bearer. He is.
Sometimes you get so lost in the darkness as the frustration and temptation to go your own way overcomes you, but even when you find yourself completely lost in your surroundings, you seem to never have lost sight of that faint glowing Light in the distance. At times, it’s so far away that your journey back is met with falls, trips, scrapes, and bruises …
It’s bewildering why at times you still try to go your own way when you know what darkness surrounds you; yet the pull is always there.
This journey with your new Leader has taken you through some incredibly tough climbs, challenges, and even some long swims through waters you felt would consume you. Yet this path He leads you on has brought you to see more beautiful places than you ever thought imaginable. Beautiful things you never even knew existed. At times He pauses … allowing you see this beauty around you … and then, there are other times He pauses. The first time you didn’t know why until you saw those eyes in the distant dark staring back at you … lost … you waited, and just stared back until you realized after looking back at your Leader that it’s you He was waiting on. As you muster the courage, you venture out into the edge of the light, grab a hand, and lead them back to Him.
This continues! Companionship grows, help and encouragement surround you now, and you get to share this journey with others. You now help each other cross those difficult passes, weep with and help heal the wounds of those that the darkness had injured. You get to laugh and share the beauty now, and celebrate as others continue to join in this journey. You try to help each other and guide others back to His Light as they start to wander. After all, you have seen what is out there.
Sometimes though … those eyes that we see … they don’t come. Some don’t want to as they still carry a finite light of their own. Others just sit in the darkness waiting for something … someone. You try to encourage, and talk about your Leader, and even the journey that you have seen (difficult and beautiful) … some even laugh and think these stories of things you have seen are too much to believe. Then with prayer, and sometimes tears, you have to leave … but at least you leave having the hope that you now know; that His light is never too far away to see if they ever wish to come back.
Each time you have to leave them, it is never thinking you are better or smarter for walking in His Light … because even still … you heart is prone to wander back into the darkness … and you pray to remain strong yourself. After all, it’s not a walk of perfection – it’s a walk of submission to the Light, the Leader … Jesus.
Thank you Oswald that your words continue to speak. This is what I thought of when I read those words you penned. I look forward to meeting you at the end of my journey.