We’d arrived at the Waterberg Plateau and immediately after getting bags and rooms sorted, we headed out on a hike. Some parts were easy, a gentle scramble up the path, around rocks. Other parts were challenging, a boost up the boulders. But the view at the top was absolutely spectacular. The Namibian savanna spread out before us as far as the eye could see. Even as we enjoyed the view, the warm African sun was setting. We had come armed – binoculars, cameras, flashlights, headlamps – but we had been warned, descend in daylight. It is too easy to get lost in the dark. Being one who’s on the more cautious side of the pendulum, the advice was heeded and I was down from the top of the Plateau as the last rays of sun fell from the sky.
Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them. John 12:35-36 (NIV, emphasis mine)
Jesus said, “For a brief time still, the light is among you. Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn’t destroy you. If you walk in darkness, you don’t know where you’re going. As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You’ll be children of light.” John 12:35-36 (MSG, emphasis mine)
Friends of mine waited until the sun had fully set before making their way off the Plateau. They had quite the story to tell of their descent. Scrapes, bruises, getting lost, very late for dinner – these were all events part of their story. I was very glad that I had ignored their calls to stay longer up top.
I sometimes am like my friends. I wander in the dark. I ignore the wise advice of my God and other people who know and love me. I let myself wander in the dark.
I think that I can navigate the darkness well on my own. That’s a lie. Left to my own devices I stumble, fall down, ending up with bumps and bruises and a story of frustration rather than hope. That’s the story of wandering in the dark – frustration, discouragement, bumps, bruises, hurt.
But I was never meant to wander in the dark. I was always meant to walk in the light. If I walk in the light, I’m a whole lot less likely to stumble. I can see where I’m going. I can see the obstacles in front of me. There’s fewer surprises when the light is on. Even in the light I’m not meant to walk on my own. I have a Father who guides and directs in His great love and mercy!
But even when it’s totally dark outside, I have a good Father who is the Light of the world. With Him, walking with Him, it’s never totally dark because He is the light. So do I choose to walk with Him? Do I choose to follow where He is leading me? Do I choose to put my feet in His footprints? If I do, He is lighting my way.
Jesus, thank you for being the Light that will guide me. You are so good to me – leading, guiding and refining me. Thank you for being the One who lights my way. May I always choose to walk in the light that is You! Amen.