(Part of the He Said - She Said Series. Visit www.christiandevotions.us for the He Said compliment to this devotion.)
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” –John 8:12
Growing up, I was a Girl Scout. In fact, I still remember the troop number. Girl Scout Troop 181 and my mom was our leader. She was the ultimate as far as leaders go. Mom was creative and imaginative, as well as a firm believer that girls could do anything if they had the right training. Whatever we set out to do as a troop, mom researched it and provided all the necessary tools for us girls to succeed.
Mom spent several weeks teaching us the basics of hiking and camping. We learned how to roll our sleeping bags into tight bundles and to build a fire in the rain, how to store our food safely when we slept under the stars, and how to survive if we should become lost. The greatest part was by the time we’d entered high school, she’d prepared us for survival hiking.
When I signed up for my first survival hike along the Appalachian Trail, daddy freaked out.
“It’s dangerous. There’s bears. You’ll get killed. That mountain is no place for young girls.” He came up with every excuse he could think of to scare me. Nothing worked. I was confident in my skills. In his last-ditch effort to turn myself and Beth away from the survival hike, daddy threw in. “What’ll you do on that mountain at night when it’s pitch black and you have no light?” I kissed his forehead and told him I’d be fine, that’s why God made flashlights.
We headed to Boone, NC and the first leg of our three day survival hike. Manned with only an extra pair of socks, a piece of plastic cut to my height, a zip lock bag of matches, and a flashlight we hit the trail with a very competent guide. I patted my pocket to be sure I had my flashlight (Dad had managed to scare me just a bit). The first day passed quickly and as we prepared to bed down, the glow from our fire lighted the entire side of the bluff. I lay there watching as the flame died and there was nothing more than red embers. Darkness closed in around me and suddenly a chill of fear swept over me. Dad was right. It was pitch black. I held my hand in front of my face and couldn’t see it. I pulled out my flashlight from my cargo pants and clicked it on. The beam flooded across the other hikers highlighting them as though they were actors on a stage and it was my job to run the spot light. I was amazed at how far that beam of light could stretch. There was great comfort in the thin beam of light. Regardless of how black the night was, I could still find my way. Flipping off the light, I stuffed it back into my pocket and rolled to my side grateful for flashlights and new batteries.
I recounted that experience when I spoke for at Ladies Retreat and though we laughed about some of the antics of the survival hike, the point was we needed light to lead us through the darkness. There is never a day that passes when I am not awed by the light of Christ. He promised us that He was the beam of light we needed to follow – the beacon that would show us the way. His light is filled with joy and peace, contentment and safety. Even in the deepest darkness his light will cut through and provide us direction. When we seek the light of Christ, we will find the hope of a new tomorrow and a friend who will never leave our side. A savior. Now when I look for a flashlight, I turn to Christ. The best part -- He doesn’t require batteries, just our hearts.