Several nights ago, I looked out my kitchen window and noticed that 4 of my 10 landscaping lights were burned out. The next evening, I picked up four replacements to match the ones around our front walk and back patio. That night when I got home, I realized that the 4 lights on the front patio were now dark. As I walked into the kitchen, I could see that all the back patio lights were dark. I fumed that my cheap landscaping lights must only have a life expectancy of some 18 months. I set the four new lamps in the garage and planned to go buy 10 more to replace the full set. (Even with only 18 months of life, the cheap price and ease of installation beat anything else I could buy!)
Like many of my home-improvement projects, the light replacement fell off my radar for a couple of days. Then, coming home after teaching class on Monday night, I noticed all four of the lights along the front sidewalk were shining. I walked inside the house and straight to the kitchen window. All the back patio lights were working.
The regenerated lights confused me for a moment, but then I remembered. Over the last couple of weeks, we had a spell of freezing weather, ice and snow, followed by rainy days–a truly rare experience in the heart of Louisiana. Most days here range from sunny and warm to sunny and sizzling, A couple of back-to-back cloudy days are rare let alone the grey blur of more than a week. Without the sun, the lamps went dark. But Monday, the sun burst through and shined all day. A day in the sun powered the lamps so that they could shine in the darkness.
I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. John 12:46
In our broken world, darkness wants to overtake light. The gloom and shadows of sin, illness, loss and heartbreak take their toll. The enemy tries to keep us away from the Father, to distract and discourage us. Jesus is our light; our belief in Him brings us out of the gloom into the power of His love. “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:4-5) Like those lamps, we need exposure to the light if we are going to shine in the darkness.
Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments! His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. Psalm 112:1-4 ESV