Have you ever driven past an airport at night and seen all the lights on the landing strip? I did last night. It’s a small airport so we were very close to the runway and I was thinking to myself how pretty the lights looked. I realized a couple of things about the lights.
LIGHTS SHINE BRIGHTEST IN THE DARK
This may seem ridiculously obvious but as God was speaking to me it carried a spiritual truth. When we are caught in darkness, the weight of this world pulling us down, it can seem almost impossible to know where to go, where to turn or where to land. Darkness can swallow us leaving us in a state of confusion, anxiety and absolute fear.
As a kid I remember being in the deep end of the pool and doing somersaults over and over under water. I would spin and spin until I ran out of air, but all that spinning made me dizzy and I could no longer tell which way was up. This always carried a bit of thrill and fear, the thrill of pushing the limits, the fear of losing my way. The best way I knew to determine which way to swim was to look for the light. I would open my eyes and look for the sunlight breaking through the water. Then I would know which direction to head and soon I was filling my lungs with air again. If I tried this stunt at night, it was much more frightening as I didn’t have the sun to guide me.
The same is true with the lights you see on a landing strip, they point you to the firm foundation of earth. They direct you saying, here! Right here! This is a safe place to land! When we’re walking through difficult times and darkness surrounds us, it can be hard to find our safe place. But God’s Word is our landing strip. His Word is lamp to our feet, or in this case, a light for our plane.
Those landing strip lights are on all the time, day or night they burn bright. It’s when the sun dips below the horizon and the sky is black that the lights become a beacon of hope and help. Are you flying in the dark right now? Look for the lights, they’ll lead you home.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5
YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THE LIGHTS MEAN
When you look at a landing strip there are all sorts of different colored lights at different placements, each one of these lights is placed strategically and has very important meaning. If you misunderstand the lights, your flight could end very, very badly.
How do you understand what the lights are saying? You have to read the manual, take the class, get the training. How do we, as daughters of the King do this?
- Read the manual – get in the Word. I know this can seem intimidating and daunting, but you have to do it. Don’t do it alone. Ask the One who wrote it to help you. When you sit down and decide to read, throw out the agenda. All too often people think, ‘I have to read three chapters today in order to get caught up on my reading plan.’ Reading plans are great, however, they can bog you down in just getting through it rather than reading it to absorb and understand it. I like to pick a book of the bible to work through and then I sit down and start reading with no intended ending. I read until something catches me and makes me question, ‘what does that even mean!?’ or I feel God’s Spirit highlight something and I pause and meditate. God’s Word is your first and most important resource in understand the landing lights and how to navigate the darkness.
- Take the class – yup, get your buns to church. You need to first and foremost search the Word for yourself but you also need to hear from others on this journey. Some will be ahead of you and will have wisdom and insight to share and some will be behind you and will bring perspective to where you are. Do not think that church is optional. If it feels optional, then you need to find a different church. There is something incredibly powerful about gathering together to worship the King, finding community and serving. Being with other believers will help you understand the landing lights, don’t miss the class.
- Get the training – beyond showing up on Sunday, I believe you should also be exploring other resources (always keeping the Word as your foundation and number one resource, I don’t care who they are, they are no substitute for the Bible). There are some really amazing teachers that we can learn from, some who walked this earth a long time ago and some who are still here. My word of caution would be to not take on too much. Prayerfully consider who’s material you should be reading. In the digital age it seems everyone is an expert and everyone has something to say. Just because someone has a wildly successful blog doesn’t mean they should be directing your spiritual walk. Always, always, always use the light of God’s Word to evaluate, compare and contrast what you are reading and hearing from others. Never substitute a sermon, youTube clip or book for prayer and the Word. Now that I’ve said that, go and find some teachings that will help you understand the landing lights better. God is speaking to us and to others and we should listen.
The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130
There are times in this journey of life where the darkness seems too great, we can’t even see our hand in front of our face or the ground beneath us. Look for the light of God’s Word to lead you to the firm foundation of Jesus.