Have you ever been in a situation where you panicked? It is perhaps safe to say that everyone has experienced panic or fear in different ways at some point in their life. I have shared the story before about a time when I was working in the crawl space under my home. Now, anyone familiar with crawl spaces will tell you there is often little room to work and pitch black without a light. I was using a utility light to see my way around, and when I had snaked my way over and under various pipes and ducting to reach the center of the space, I bumped the light against a beam, and guess what? That’s right; the bulb blew out, leaving me in complete darkness, and I started to panic.
Unable to see my hand in front of my face and with no backup light, I said, “Lord, now what?” At that moment, a sense of peace came over me, and I said to myself, “Self, it’s okay. Take a deep breath and relax.” Then it came to me! All I needed to do was follow the extension cord hand-over-hand to find my way back to the entrance. As the cord led me under this duct and over that pipe, I could see the light shining in the access door where I entered and eventually emerged to see sun again. If it were not for that extension, I could have wandered aimlessly all around that crawl space but the cord served as my lifeline, it lead me out from the darkness and into the light.
In a spiritual sense, that is what God’s word and the presence of the Holy Spirit does for us daily; they steer us away from darkness and keep our focus on Jesus Christ who is the light of the world. Without the power of God’s word and the presence of the Holy Spirit, people wander aimlessly or meander like a river through life without any forethought about where their eternal address will be once they pass from this life into the next. That is why Jesus came into the world, to throw humanity a lifeline and save us from God’s righteousness judgment of our sin. Why? Because there is nothing we can do to save ourselves, and because we are so loved by God, He was willing to take upon Himself the rightful punishment intended for us. When a person accepts Jesus as Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit then takes up residence within that new believer to nurture, lead, and provide guidance that helps the believer to become more Christ-like.
The year 2021 indeed brought the world the lion’s share of challenges. Especially in terms of the ongoing global pandemic that has taken so many lives, and with various strains of the virus now looming, it is easy for people to see nothing but an emotional sea of darkness. That is when we need to say to ourselves and encourage others to do the same, “Take a deep breath, relax, and acknowledge by faith that God is God and that He’s got this situation well in hand,” and you know what? He does! So, moving forward, let us give thanks to God for His infinite love and the grounding of His word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit that will always serve as a lifeline to bring His people back from the cliff’s edge. Most importantly, let us renew our determination to reach the lost, share the gospel, and help others grow in their relationship with Jesus – Amen.
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