For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)
It didn’t take much for me to see Christ.
But the truth was…I wasn’t looking for Him.
I was looking for something, yes. I was expectant. Like so many of us, I was turning over every rock to find a comfort that would stick with me. Keep right next to me, like.
It never lasted long. And sometimes I just thought I was too difficult to please.
Yet after awhile all of the rocks had been overturned and the options grew thin. I didn’t find peace in a person. I didn’t find peace in a job. I certainly didn’t find it in a book, in music…or in trying to be skinny.
The dark just kept coming. Moving swiftly…like a thundercloud bringing destruction. My own personal little windstorm on the flatlands.
When we’re thirsty we keep drinking from that cup that isn’t satisfying. It doesn’t quench. Sip after sip, gulp after gulp, it leaves us parched. Wanting. Needing.
I sat there one night on the floor of my closet, many years ago. Just as thirsty as any other night, wondering where I went wrong. On the surface it looked ok. My choices weren’t horrible. Were they? I held a kind heart behind a gentle face. I worked hard for what I had. Carefully walked a straight and narrow…most of the time.
But once you’ve done it often enough you can do it in the dark. Heel to toe, heel to toe – like the tightrope artists I stared at as a kid. Those ones just above center ring…
And I cried. On the floor of that closet I cried and admitted I was lonely. I was confused. I was unfit. For what – I didn’t even know.
I’m pretty sure He heard me. It didn’t seem long after that.
Because the match ignited. Fingers traveled to the wick, giving life to it beneath a steady hand – and it was pure poetry. Such elemental greatness. Once I saw it I let out a soft sigh and my breath caught the flame, causing it to dance with delight. One couldn’t help but admire the shadows cast on the wall. They moved in time to the rhythm of the flame. A silent harmony, surviving only in the veil of darkness.
A tiny wick that brings comfort. Warmth. Beauty. Vision…
That’s when I knew what Christ looked like. So much darkness. Yet such a powerful, tiny light that drove it back to wherever it came from.
It still surrounds me. But where that eternal flame burns it can’t touch me. No matter how much I feel defeated, the light remains. For whomever follows Him shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.
Sometimes I need this reminder. Ok, often I need this reminder. The imagery to stand out in my mind of just how powerful one tiny flame can be against the darkness that overtakes this fallen world. It’s not always easy to stay positive when I’m attacked. The closer I get to His will…to obedience…the harder the enemy works at trying to douse the light within.
My first inclination is to reach for the arm of a loved one. Someone who can listen and offer reassurance. To vent. Complain. Whine.
But my dependence is on Him and Him alone. It’s on the embers that remain lit even on the coldest and darkest of days. I have only to blow on them and the fire grows. There’s no mistaking His presence as the light burns against my face.
When the match ignites, it can never go out. And I think back to what it was like when He lit it just for me. When He allowed me to know Him for the first time.
I remember, once again, that those shadows couldn’t even exist without Him. And once that thought sinks in, everything seems right with the world again. Everything is exposed.
I’m joining the following writers for these link-ups today: