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Look for the Light

Sun, 2017-10-15 12:23 -- Jocelyn Green

As the days are getting shorter this fall, I can’t help but think back to the long winter nights I experienced as Coast Guard wife living in Homer, Alaska. I could tell a marked difference in my spirit. We lived pretty far south in the state, so on the shortest day of the year, the sun started rising around 10am, and started setting again around 3pm. I’m grateful I wasn’t in the dark any longer than that every day.

Sometimes, though, we can feel like we’re in the dark no matter what time of day it is, can’t we? Maybe it’s uncertainty that blocks our view of the future. Or perhaps the darkness that crowds us comes from disaster, evil, or fear.

There is a line tucked into my upcoming release, A Refuge Assured, that goes like this: “The dark grew less frightening as he learned to look for the light.” It’s referring to a little boy named Henri who has been traumatized by the French Revolution and is afraid to come outside. The heroine, Vivienne, coaxes him out in the evening to catch fireflies. He stepped into the dark because he was looking at the light.

“…he learned to look for the light.” Such simple words, and yet they have been preaching to me lately. Just as Henri learned to look for the light in the darkness, we can too. When acts of terror or injustice threaten to paint the world in deep shades, we can still look for the light. It’s always there, in acts of kindness and grace, in people who sacrificially help their neighbors, in rainbows after the storm. And of course, in God himself.

Psalm 18:28 (NASB) says, “For You light my lamp; The Lord my God illumines my darkness.” The NIV puts it this way: “You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” In John 8:12, Jesus tells us that He is the light of the world.

And yet I know that for a variety of reasons, there are times when it seems like the light can grow dim. The fireflies aren’t pinpricking the night with their brightness, so to speak. Dawn seems a long, long way off. Some of you are there right now. May I bring you a word of encouragement? One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 50:10. “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.”

When you can’t see your hand in front of your face, trust in the One who sees it all. He sees you. He knows you, and knows all the details of what you’re experiencing. He’ll carry you through.

When I lived in Homer, Alaska, all the businesses put up Christmas lights in October and they stayed up until March, deliberately dispelling the darkness. And the only time I saw the Northern Lights—neon green brushstrokes across the sky—was in the dead of a winter night. Like the little boy Henri in A Refuge Assured, I learned where to look for the light.  Many times, I found it in the smile of a friend, a shared cup of coffee, and quiet moments in prayer. More than we realize it, we can be the light in someone else’s life, too.

What kind of light have you found in the darkness? What bright spots of hope or kindness have lightened your days?

 

About the Author: 

Jocelyn Green

Jocelyn Green is the award-winning author of more than a dozen books, including fiction and nonfiction. A former military wife herself, she offers encouragement and hope to military wives through her Faith Deployed books and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she co-authored with best-selling author Dr. Gary Chapman. Her Heroines Behind the Lines Civil War novels, inspired by real heroines on America’s home front, are marked by their historical integrity and gritty inspiration. As a speaker, Jocelyn inspires faith and courage in her audiences. Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. She is an active member of the Christian Authors Network, the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Military Writers Society of America. She loves Mexican food, Broadway musicals, Toblerone chocolate bars, the color red, and reading on her patio. Jocelyn lives with her husband Rob and two children in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Visit her at www.jocelyngreen.com.

Comments

Submitted by Linda Preiss on
Beautiful!! I will have to write this verse down to give to my daughter who always needs a light on at night!

Submitted by Jocelyn Green on
It is a beautiful verse, indeed! I looked at many different translations and they all have special meaning. It was hard to choose which ones to feature. Great idea, to write it down for your daughter. I should do that for my kids, too!

Submitted by Shirley on
Can't wait to read the book! Such an encouragement at this time. Love the light verse. It will be a new marking as I read my bible. I mark a LOT! One big one is "do not fear" for me. I take this as a command and now I will look for the light as comfort with the command! What lightens my day is the Word! I can be all over the place in my thoughts and then find peace that passes understanding when I seek the comfort of His Word! Thanks Jocelyn, your books are all the best for knowledge of scripture within a great story!

Submitted by Jocelyn Green on
I mark in my Bible a lot too, so you're in good company, Shirley. I'm so glad to hear this encouraged you. Thanks for your kind words about my books, too! Many times, Scriptures inspires passages in the novels, but it might take a discerning reader to see the spiritual metaphors. I do enjoy sharing those glimpses on the blog, though! Expect some more of that. :)

Submitted by Betti on
I am so looking forward to this book! I loved The Mark of the King and I'm sure this will be just as wonderful!! Bible verses, smiles from those around you, encouragement to continue on - all these are like light for me. Love the verse :)

Submitted by Jocelyn Green on
Thank you for those kind words, Betti! So glad you love this Bible verse. Me too.

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