“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105
One year, my dad received an industrial flashlight for Christmas. It was nearly as big as my head and could completely light up a room. When we walked at night, it could light the path one hundred feet ahead of us.
But in Psalm 119, God does not provide us with an industrial flashlight. He offers us a lamp. Of course, when the Psalms were written, industrial flashlights did not exist. But the Psalmist could have called God’s Word a torch or a blazing fire. Instead, the Psalmist compares the Word to a lamp, which provides limited but sufficient light.
Rather than lighting up the path ten feet in front of us, sometimes God just allows us a lamp, which illuminates only what is immediately in front of it. We don’t always understand God’s plan, but that is because we cannot see the full picture. Sometimes we can only see one step ahead, but that is all that is required. God only asks that we trust Him to guide us one step at a time toward the destination he has planned for us.
Lord, please grant me patience when I feel I cannot see where You are leading me. I will trust You with wherever You guide me. Amen.
Published in A Christmas Lift: 2016 Advent Devotional
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 (NIV)
In my family, Christmas planning began as soon as the Thanksgiving table was cleared. Aunts, uncles, and cousins would gather around to exchange Christmas wish lists. The gift-receiver in question would be sent away as whispers and furtive glances commenced among those hunched over the lists. I was always eager to squirm into the fray, though I hardly had money to buy gifts.
That is, until the year my older cousin asked for “a walk to remember”. That seemed easy enough. I knew my way around the neighborhood and I could certainly walk. This was something I could give without money! I was eager to volunteer my family to give my cousin “a walk to remember”.
It wasn’t until we went Christmas shopping that I realized my cousin had not, in fact, been wanting a stroll around the block, but a movie entitled “A Walk to Remember”.
When giving and receiving gifts, whenever the season, never underestimate the gift of time. Offering a moment to help a friend, donating a few hours to a food pantry, or even taking a loved one to see a movie will bring more joy and cultivate richer rewards than handing someone a gift card.
Lord, remind me to be generous in deeds by sharing the resource of my time with others; in Christ, I pray. Amen.