When I was a little girl, we did most of our traveling at night, when it was cooler. Cars were not air-conditioned back then. My mother and father shared the front seat with my little brother and sister and the other four of us six kids squeezed in the back seat, laying all over one another. Our enormous German shepherd, Rowdy, road in the very back with his head hanging over the seat in the center, between my brother and I. Rowdy would pant from the heat, and his dripping tongue provided a constant, unwelcome shower.
I would often wait until the others were sleeping and ask my dad questions until I fell asleep. I learned to recognize the difference between truck lights and car lights. At one point, I knew what brand of car was coming toward us by the headlights and when a train was coming.
The trains were visible from a great distance. It thrilled me to be able to tell dad about them with such accuracy. I asked him why the train light shined so much brighter than those on cars and trucks around us. He answered that trains were so much more powerful than the smaller vehicles, and they needed more light to be safe.
One day, while I traveled with my dad, I realized that during the day the trains lights were barely visible compared to the night. Their lights did not shine as brightly. In fact, I they did not appear to be shining at all. I saw the train before the light. Daddy explained why the light was not bright in the daytime. He said the light needed darkness to shine. Years later God taught me this is a Spiritual truth.
As Christians, we can be doing well with blessings flowing into our lives from everywhere. Then the bottom falls out and nothing seems to go right. The difference is like day and night. The Lord brings rain on the just and the unjust. He asked us if the world came against him why would we expect it to be different for us. He gave us His Word as the light to shine in front of us in the world of darkness. He said His Word was ďa lamp to my [our] feet, and a light to my [our] pathĒ (Psalms 119-105).
Todayís Christian can be like the train. The train light is still on during the day, but, it shines the brightest at night. With Godís word hidden in our heart, His light shines through us in every circumstance. When all is going well, the Word, living in us in is shining. It goes before us revealing the tracks God has laid out for our lives, and shining brightly for others who need direction. Though, it may not appear as strong as when darkness surrounds us.
When darkness presses in on us, Godís Word shows us the road ahead and steers us the way we should go. Unlike the world, knowing God is with us, and having His Word buried in our hearts, helps us keep our eyes are on our journey.
Lost people everywhere are searching for something to shine bright and stand out in the darkness. When we move among them with the love, joy, and peace of God shining brightly through us, we can be a beacon of hope to everyone. Like the train, we will be visible for a considerable distance ahead. The darker our world is, the brighter our light shines into the darkness.
My husband compares Godís Word to the white stripes in the center of the highway on one of our dark, soupy, foggy Houston mornings. Sometimes the fog is so thick the taillights on the car in front of us are not visible until we are right upon it. It is hard to be sure weíre in our lane. By keeping our eyes on the white stripes, and watching the poor visibility offered by our headlights, we can arrive safely at our destination.
When we rely on Godís Word in this dark, soupy foggy world we live in, we know we will arrive safely at the goal God has planned for our lives.
Dr. Schuetz is an ordained minister and has been in ministry with her husband for twenty-five years. She has a PhD in clinical Christian counseling. She and her husband, Michael, of 33 years have 2 sons, 1 daughter, 9 grandchildren.