I remember being told that my grandfather worked, for a short time, in a copper mine in Bisbee, Arizona. I heard the story of the time he lost his hat while working underground in the mine. It was a miner’s hat – the kind with a light (in his case, probably a torch) built into the hat. I remember hearing that he had never known darkness could be so dark as when his hat fell off, and his light went out hundreds of feet underground. He was terrified as he suddenly realized there was no way to even take a step, because the darkness was so complete. Would He fall off a precipice? Would he take a turn down a corridor, never to return to his original place? Was there a wall of rock right smack in front of him? The air suddenly felt thicker. Fear began to rule his thoughts. No way to see. No light at all. Total blackness. I heard, too, of the indescribable relief he felt when he brushed up against that hat, lit it, and put it back on his head. For the rest of his life, all future feelings paled in comparison to the joy – the pure happiness – of finding his light.
Sometimes we are fooled into thinking our world isn’t really very dark. But it is. It’s black and dark and terrifying. If you haven’t believed in Jesus, you are like my grandfather, hundreds of feet under the earth in Arizona…you have no idea where you came from, where you’re going, or what horrible event might surprise you as you take your next step.
But if you have believed in Jesus, you have the Light living within you. The question, then, for you, is: are you walking in the Light? While Jesus was on earth He told His disciples that He was the Light. And He warned them, and all of His other followers: “Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you; for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.” (John 12:35)
You see, a relationship with Jesus isn’t just a one-time experience. It’s a day-by-day growing, vibrant thing – which is either getting brighter because you are walking with Him, or getting dimmer because you aren’t. Once Jesus lives within you, you can’t ever “lose” His light, but if “dimmer” describes your relationship better than “brighter”, you aren’t walking in the light.
Ken and I have been married for over 40 years. We were two kids who first met in Arizona, fell in love, married, and took off to Illinois to Ken’s job as a Youth Pastor. Wow. Did we ever have fun together! No adventure was too ridiculous for us. When we got to Illinois we found out that the church which had called Ken to be their Youth Pastor had neglected to be sure the Senior Pastor agreed with the decision. He didn’t. So Ken resigned his first day on the job. We had to make a living, so we decided painting houses didn’t sound so hard. Our first house was a three-story older home with lots of windows and gables. We somehow found two aluminum ladders, tied them together, and I stood at the bottom of the ladder making sure no neighborhood kids ran into it and knocked it over, and Ken stood at the top, painting.
We found an apartment, which was really a butler’s quarters of an old, beautiful home, bought our first puppy, and went on our first grocery shopping trip together. I had no idea how to cook, so we just grabbed everything that looked like it might make a meal, and brought it home. We ate ham for a long time.
Then Ken got a job as a night-watchman at a factory, and I got a job as an office clerk in a nearby university. We passed each other in the morning as he came home and I went to work. We entertained friends with iced tea and popcorn. If we didn’t have time to get the dishes done before friends arrived, we just boxed them up and took them down to the basement.
Why am I telling you all this? Because we kept facing life together….communicating with each other…laughing or crying or praying together. We grew closer and closer and closer. His thoughts became my thoughts. My thoughts became his. We couldn’t help it. Living life together….walking life together….made us grow together.
That’s what Jesus has in store for you when you give your heart to Him. When you ask Him to be your Savior, He fully intends to walk, laugh, cry and talk with you through every minute of your life.
Is that what’s happening?
Or are you too busy? Did you drift away from Him, but not sure when? Do you have other interests which grab your attention? Too wrapped up in the things you must have? Too focused on yourself? Too unsure of where to start? Too surrounded by responsibilities?
If you are honestly not experiencing that walk-laugh-cry-talk relationship with Jesus, you are only a step away from being there. It doesn’t take weeks, days, or even hours of trying to make it happen. It just takes starting to read His Word…and then keeping it up every day of your life.
So….Let’s Start a 22-Week Study Of Psalm 119.
1. Here’s what I’ll do:
Every Monday I’ll Post my comments on a new section of Psalm 119.
2. Here’s what you can do:
- Each day of the week, read one verse from that week’s assigned 8-verse portion of Psalm 119 (go in order, so that on Day 1 you read verse 1, and on Day 2 you read verse 2, etc.)…some days you will read 2 verses…so that at the end of a week you will have read 8 verses.
- Read each day’s verse in the morning.
- Pray that the Lord will teach you something from that verse, and use the Discussion Questions for each 8-verse section to help you think through what the verse means.
- Think about that verse often during the day.
- Write down anything you learn from the verse, or any thoughts you have about it.
- End your day with prayer (pray about anything you want to), repeating that day’s verse to the Lord as you talk to Him.
- Take the time sometime during the week to read the Answer Key for that 8-verse section.
- It will take us 22 weeks to finish Psalm 119.
- At the end of 22 weeks you will have established a habit of being in the Word every day.
- At the end of 22 weeks you will have experienced answers to prayer.
- At the end of 22 weeks you will have many of your questions about God answered
- At the end of 22 weeks you will be anxious to do the same thing with another part of scripture.
Here’s my Goal:
That each person will, at the end of 22 weeks, have a daily, consistent, “I-wouldn’t-dream-of-missing-a-day”, walk with Jesus Christ.
…or…said a different way….
That each person will be reading their Bibles and talking to Jesus every single day, fighting hard to never miss a day.
If that already describes you, then you are going to enjoy sitting back, soaking up this delightful Psalm, and growing more joyful every week.
If that doesn’t describe you, then I am praying that this Psalm, which God designed especially for you, will shape your walk with the Lord as you have never experienced before.
Your Assignment until next week: Read Psalm 119 all the way through. (It’s long!)