The Lightbulb

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk ye as children of light…  Ephesians 5:8

Living in a rural area is great. One of the most satisfying aspects is that we can look up at night, miles and miles away from the nearest street lights, and take in all that God has placed in the dark sky. Of course some nights the sky is darker than others, depending largely upon the current phase of the moon and whether or not there are clouds blocking our view. And on those really, really dark nights when we arrive home from our daily goings about, our family relies on a single lightbulb to reveal the short familiar pathway from our van to the house.

Every so often, however, that single bulb will burn out and we have no light. And of course this always happens when we are expecting company, so our guests risk stumbling as they trek the unfamiliar winding sidewalk and the few steps that must be taken to and from our doorway. This single lightbulb that so faithfully brightens my family's walk night after night, seemingly fails when really needed to help others. But not to worry! We simply go find a flashlight and shine the path for the visitors to safely make their way.

Just as this lightbulb, I often continue weeks and months casting a glow around my wife and children, helping to keep them on the designated pathway, and granting myself a sense of satisfaction that I am performing my duty as a Christian husband and father. And then comes a "burnout" and my light disappears just as I would hope to reach out to friends and neighbors. And I fail miserably.

But not to worry! Our gracious Father has a plan. When we inevitably fail, He places a "flashlight" nearby to relieve our failings and shine a new light on the darkened pathway. This flashlight may not show up quickly enough from our perspective, but our plan may not line up with His perfect plan. All we need to do is seek out this new source of light.

And ultimately we can use this "flashlight" to help us make our way through the darkness and change our burnt out bulb so we can resume our faithfulness in shining His light to those around us.

Thank you Father for granting us your "flashlights" to help brighten our paths when we fail. Keep us in the center of Your plan so that our "lightbulbs" may shine forever. In Jesus' name, Amen.