"The Word is a lamp to my feet, a light on my path." - Psalm 119:105
We'd like to believe that lamp is a 500 watt LED light that extends for yards in all directions. A light that gives plenty of warning of things to come and plenty of clarity for where we need to go.
Unfortunately the first century oil lamps were no such thing. The picture below is what the Bible referred to every time it mentions oil lamps.
As you can see, it's little more than a candle. The hole in the top is where they poured the oil. A wick was inserted in the front of the clay bowl that soaked up the oil and the tip was lit, igniting a flame. This is the lamp to my feet the psalmist referred to.
It's not enough light to see what's coming. But it's enough to take the next step.
We live in a culture where our refrigerators are so big food spoils before we can get around to eating it. We park our cars in the driveway because our garage is so full of stuff we don't even use. We have clothes in our closet we haven't worn in months, even though it's in season, and still say we don't have anything to wear.
We are a culture obese with what we want, and starving of what it is we really desire. As much as we try to stay connected, we have no concept of what it means to truly connect and trust.
It's no wonder why we can look at Jesus and his Word and find it dissatisfying. He is uncompromising in who he is and what he desires. He is unashamed of what he longs for, completely secure in who he is and how, and who, he loves.
He is a light in whom there is no darkness, and yet he extends a lamp to our feet and asks us to trust the light he gives us for today. Light enough for a step. Light enough to do what needs to be done and then rest. Nothing more, nothing less.
In a culture that prepares for the worst, the best and the "just in case," the concept of living for today is threatening. We shudder and wonder, "What about tomorrow?"
Jesus' response is always the same: trust me to provide what you need for tomorrow when tomorrow comes.
"So above all, constantly chase after the realm of God's kingdom and the righteousness that proceeds from him. Then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly. Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself." - Matthew 6:33-34, TPT
Sometimes the light Jesus provides doesn't always look the same. In one season it can be a clear, bright, and steady flame. In another season it can flicker with the wind and it's all you can do but wrap a hand around it and huddle close.
In my part of the country we're going through fire season, which means we have a lot of smoke in the air and it changes the way the sun looks. A glorious sunrise in June is very different in mid-August when most of the Pacific Northwest is choking on smoke.
Sunrise over a lake in eastern Washington. The air quality that day was so bad it was deemed unsafe for public pools to be open.
No matter how bad the air gets, though, I'm learning that the light remains a light. And the light is just as efficient for today as it was yesterday, no matter how it appears.
Take a deep breath. Pause in God's presence. Rest in the light and take today's step knowing the Holy Spirit will guide the one after that.