Friday, February 17, 2006

Matthew 25:3 – The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. (NIV)

It used to happen every winter. Heavy snow fell on some local power lines and snapped the cables in two, causing all the lights in our house to go out. Instantly, I would head to the kitchen cupboard, in the dark, to find the flashlights. After scrambling for a while, I would locate them at the back of the topmost cupboard, above the refrigerator. Then the real fun would begin.

I would switch on the flashlights, only to discover that the batteries were dead. Either they were so old that they had corroded, or my two darling daughters had been using them to read their books under the bedcovers. Whatever the reason, we always ended up the same way — stuck in the dark and everyone absolutely miserable.

This year is going to be different. I purchased an emergency flashlight that is plugged into an electrical socket. It's constantly recharging itself, so when the snow falls this year and the lights go out, I'll be able to locate and use this kind of flashlight easily. Then I can find some candles to light every room. The only thing I'll have to do is to remember to buy some matches!

In the darkest of times and the deepest of troubles, our faith shines brightly and helps us overcome our fears — but this happens only if we keep refuelling our spirits with Christ's teachings and God's love. If we neglect our faith, then like the lamps of old and out-of-date batteries, it diminishes, flickers, and fades away. But if we keep recharging our faith through worship, Scripture study, and daily prayer, then no matter what happens, the light will still be there in the midst of the darkness, and it will not be overcome.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the light of the world and the Holy One Who extinguishes the darkness of fear, anxiety, and despair. We turn to You to illuminate our minds and souls, to enhance our faith, and to brighten our lives with Your love. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

John Stuart <traqair@aol.com>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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