“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5
Imagine a well-lit stadium full of enthusiastic believers before a Casting Crown’s concert. Now imagine a “no sense of direction” me trying to find my seat in a sea of people when finally, an usher brings me to “my” seat but in the wrong section. I was overwhelmed and confused because my husband was not there and was texting, “Where are you?” when I thought I was in the right place.
“I’m lost,” I explained to a different usher, handing him my ticket.
“You’ll need to go all the way up the stairs and around to the next section,” he said, while handing the stub back to me. I must have looked pretty pathetic because he immediately said, “I’ll take you,” and bounded up the steep stairway.
Just then the stadium went dark and, trying to follow him with two water bottles, my purse and my phone in my hands, I tripped on the concrete steps and fell, dropping the bottles and my pride somewhere in section N. Disoriented and embarrassed, I looked up and saw the light. The usher was holding his iPhone with the flashlight shining down the stairs so I could find my way up to him. Just follow the light. Walk in the light. Thankfully, I arrived at my seat without further incident.
A bit shaken, It took me awhile to start enjoying the concert but the genuine love, patience and grace shown by the usher moved me. This is God’s heart. His light is always there for us to follow. He waits patiently for us to get up when we fall. He doesn’t make fun of us or even chastise us for looking stupid or being late or making a mistake. When we are confused He meets us in our confusion and orders our “steps.”
In many ways this experience had a profound effect, changing my way of thinking about walking in the light as well as living in a state of humility. In the dark we cannot see and WILL have an accident, be disoriented and lose our way. However, if there is light, any light, and we focus on it, it serves as a calibrating force in our hearts and minds, pulling us to safety. Humility, though, is really a sense of selflessness where you find it easy to “look up” and follow God because you are consumed with neither pride nor shame, only Jesus, the Light of the World.
So, although I was embarrassed at first, when I looked up and saw the literal light I chose to follow it instead of hide in utter humiliation. Now, to be honest, thoughts did swirl through my head like, “Everyone must think I’m drunk, or stupid or clumsy or…” but that kind of thinking is self-focused and not even based in reality. The fact that everyone was actually watching the concert and NOT me was evident but I felt like they were judging me! Capturing my thoughts was no less awkward then retrieving the rolling water bottles but, like living water, so worth it! Because God’s light is there for me (both physically and spiritually) I was able to walk out of the darkness by faith one step at a time.
Compare these two Psalms:
“For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.” Psalm 40:12
“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” Psalm 5:3
The first Psalm reveals a self-focused heart heavy with guilt and shame. The second a God-focused heart full of love and faith. Although my tripping may seem like a “silly” example, there are all kinds of ways we trip and fall; some more severe and painful then others. The circumstance doesn’t really matter because the principle is the same. God is there for you. He is patient, kind, loving and gracious and waiting for You to… look up.
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12