What I’m about to write kind of sounds like the beginning of a mysterious novel, but really it isn’t. On a dark night a few weeks ago, I was driving the 14 hours home on the interstate for Christmas vacation. Earlier in the day, it had been raining, but it was warm enough for it not to freeze. As the day progressed though, it turned into freezing rain. It lasted for a couple of hours and by the time the roads were clear again, my muscles were tense and I hadn’t realized how much my hands had been gripping the steering wheel and how tired my eyes were. Around early evening the rain stopped, the roads became clear, and since I was driving west, there was a beautiful winter sunset in front of me. I thought everything would be free and clear for the last couple of hours home.
All of a sudden though, it became foggy, and it wasn’t just a light fog. This fog was very thick, and I could only see about two car lengths ahead of me. It was kind of scary knowing that there could be something ahead that I wouldn’t be able to see or do anything about if I didn’t see it soon enough. I became tense all over again, just when I thought everything had been fine. The darkness and the fog around the car were very eerie. When I finally made it safely home, I was very happy. The ending to this story kind of sounds like the ending of a Hallmark movie. The lights from the house greeted me as I pulled in. I knew the kitchen would be waiting for me with my family inside (Mom even kept dinner warm for me). It was an incredible relief to relax in safety and comfort after the long day I had just had.
Now that break is coming to end for me though, I’m faced with having to make that drive back to school all over again. It is still winter. There is still snow and freezing rain. It’s just that time of year. I know that there’s always the possibility of having that bad weather again. There will probably be many more winters in which I’ll be driving through bad weather.
It occurred to me as I was driving through that fog how thankful I was for good headlights. The light streaming ahead of me to make the path bright was the only thing that kept me going. The lights waiting for me at home were what I was looking forward to with anticipation because I knew what was waiting for me. (For a minute I even wondered to myself why I ever went to college so far away!). I was truly thankful for the light.
I’m heading into a new year, 2013, with anticipation as well (along with the rest of the world). Some people set new resolutions and hope that they will have a better year than 2012. Or maybe some people had a wonderful year last year and want this new one to be just as wonderful.
And then there are people like me who are a little unsure of what to expect in this New Year. As a college student only a little over a year away from graduation, there are life decisions to be made. Struggles may come up that I can’t possibly foresee right now (especially as I’m at home in the comfort and peace of family and the Christmas season). Changes will inevitably come. There will be times where I may feel lost and surrounded by darkness, just as I did driving through fog on a dark night. Daily, I will need light on my path.
1 John 1:5 says “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” This is a huge comfort to me because I know I stray from the light daily. But this verse tells me that it is Jesus who alone can purify me and lead me in the light. God in Christ Jesus has given me, and the whole world, His Light, which brings life and salvation.
So how will I be staying in the Light throughout the New Year? As a child in Sunday school, I memorized and sang the words of Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Daily I can read the Word of God where I find wisdom, peace, the call to repent of my sins, and the forgiveness I have in Jesus. Through worship in God’s house, I hear the Word and take the body and blood of the one true Light. I need this light daily and I rejoice that it is found in Christ alone.
Contributed by Christiana