"Who among you fears the LORD
and obeys the word of his servant?
Let him who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in the name of the LORD
and rely on his God." Isaiah 50:10
We live in a dark world. It seems that around every day, every corner, every life-changing moment, there is darkness there. Sometimes, I feel like it's surrounding me, just trying to break through my shell to envelop me and swallow me. I live in a town where the bars are crowded, yet the churches are not, and I'm sure that is normal, and not just relevant to where I live. One of the standard jokes in Wisconsin is that if there are at least two bars on street corners, that's enough to call a town a town. And driving through the countryside, that is certainly true for the most part. Even as I watch TV from time to time, I am bombarded with commercials that tell me I need this, that, and the other thing, and the TV shows themselves tell me that I live in a dark, dark world filled with crime. News reports aren't much better.
It would be so easy to give up. It would be easy to just curl up into an introspective ball and say that I don't care anymore. There are days where I wonder to myself if it's all worth it. But then I read verses like this, and it gives me just the boost I need. Even where there is no light at all, there God is. I can be walking in complete darkness, surrounded by utter bleakness, yet there God will be, a light unto my path. By walking in the light, I need not fear the darkness around me, and maybe, just maybe, while I'm walking on my path of light, someone else from the darkness will reach out for the light themselves. If I keep my eyes on the light and focus on the brightness that is leading my path, I can avoid the darkness completely. I can see the dark around me, and pray that my light will shine into the darkness for those who need it. But I will stay the course.
"Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 4:2
I live for God, and as long as I keep that focus, and hold to that mindset, the darkness will be held at bay. As long as I live for God, what the world does and thinks doesn't matter. It's necessary to be reminded of that sometimes.