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In The Dark...

In the dark…
I love running in the dark. While most of my neighbors are still fast asleep, I find a peaceful refuge in those early morning hours. The sounds of the day and the hectic pace of life are muted, allowing me to focus on one footfall, one breath at a time. The cadence of the run creates a drumbeat for my prayer, keeping my wandering mind focused on the people I have committed to lift up to the Lord. I say each name, each need out loud with no concern that prying ears will wonder to whom I speak. And for just a minute, I can listen without the distractions of the world. In those moments, I am known by only One, and He does not critique the style or pace of my run.

This morning there was a special treat for those who ventured into the early morning darkness. At 5:17am, the earth moved in line between the sun and the moon, causing a lunar eclipse that shrouded the moon in a red glow. They call this event a ‘blood moon’. Some have suggested that there could be some meaning to a ‘blood moon’ falling on Election Day. I choose just to see an example of God’s creative genius that blesses His people with wonders to behold! Morning after morning I look for those wonders as night quietly turns to day. And then the peace evaporates with the dawn, and the day begins.

Can you ‘see’ why I love running in the dark? But if you saw me on Sunday morning, you may have noticed evidence etched onto my face that running in the dark can also be dangerous. The peace of the darkness can turn to chaos in the blink of an eye. Chaos struck last Wednesday. Thankfully, I was blessed with Greg’s companionship on the run that morning. Together, we were praying as we traced our regular route around our town. Streetlights illuminate only a few stretches of our route, and only a few of the neighbors leave their porch lights on, so we trust our memories to remind us of all the ‘trip hazards’ along the way. One of those hazards is a metal trailer that is often parked on the roadside- a simple trailer used to transport dirt bikes to races and adventures. I have successfully navigated past that trailer hundreds of times, but on Wednesday I drifted too close and clipped my thigh on the metal corner that juts
out. The impact flipped me from feet to face. I have fallen many times before, but usually those falls feel like they happen in slow motion, allowing me time to reach out a hand or twist toward the grass. But that morning, before I could extend a hand for protection, I found myself on the street, face down, bleeding and dazed.

Many of you on Sunday reminded me of Lesson #1: There are dangers in the dark, so use a light! What a great parable for life in our modern world. How often it feels like we are walking in darkness. We resonate with Isaiah 9:2,
A people walking in darkness… living in the land of the shadow. 
The events of the last few years, the increasing anger that reverberates through our nation, the fear that seems to dominate the airwaves, all shroud our day in a darkness that bodes of danger. As we go to the polls today, we wonder what this vote will bring, but most of us doubt that the results will lift the veil that shadows our nation. We need light! And light is exactly what Isaiah promised to the people walking in darkness. 
They have seen a great light… on them a light has dawned. 
For the people in Isaiah’s day, the Light was a hope and a promise. For us, the Light has a name- Jesus. John begins his gospel account with this declaration: 
The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.
Cannot overcome it… do we believe that His Light is greater than the darkness? As people of faith, who know the Savior, why are we still fearful of the dark, angry that the dark is stealing away the life we once enjoyed, unsure if there is any hope for those of us who live in the land of shadow? Yet, God’s Word declares that His promise is sure and certain. His Light is greater! Imagine if we, the people walking in darkness, let His Light… His grace… His love… His forgiveness move and shape who we are. Imagine if instead of tripping in the darkness, we began to walk confidently in His Light. Imagine if instead of complaining about the darkness, we began to reflect His Light.

Lesson #1- There are dangers in the dark- Use the Light!
With you learning how to live by and reflect His light, 

Look for Lesson 2 next week…

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