I was told there would be more light after we set our clocks forward this past weekend. But when I rise from bed in the morning, it’s still very dark. And I don’t like it.
I need the light.
In a past life I was a night owl, staying up until all hours of the night, occupying myself with anything but sleep. Often those pursuits were done for the solitude, other times for the cover of the darkness. Nothing good happens after 2:00 am, they say.
Over the last several years I’ve become a morning person. I’m up before the dawn usually, and try to get in bed early. Darkness has stopped being a fortress and has become an encroaching invader. When I can’t sleep, darkness gives me the silence and solitude to ponder my sins. I’ve found the Jesus Prayer to be the best medicine for this.
This morning I rose, sore from doing prostrations in the previous night’s service. I stumbled through my morning routine, moving from task to task with only the dim light of the stove lamp to help. When I was done feeding pets and drinking coffee, I stood before our icon corner to say my morning prayers.
I needed light.
The oil lamp I’d lit the previous day was almost out of oil and the wick had burned to a crusty stump. The glow it gave off was barely enough to illumine the small table on which it sat, leaving the icons above it as mere dark rectangles on the wall.
For a moment I thought about adding oil, or a new wick, but decided against it for the sake of time. I pulled out my phone and opened my prayer book app. At least the light of the screen would provide a little extra light.
Once my prayers were complete, I put my phone back in my pocket, and stood in silence, looking at the icons on the wall.
The light from the lamp had grown brighter.
I walked back a few steps and looked again, sure that my eyes had gotten used to the darkness. It was true; the soft flicker of the lamp was a bright flame, and I could clearly see the faces painted onto the wooden icons mounted to the wall.
I’m not one that finds miracles behind every corner. I’m skeptical by nature. No doubt there’s a perfectly natural explanation. Perhaps my breathing as I prayed fanned the flame, and caused it to increase.
What I do know is I needed light. And I received it.
One of today’s scripture readings is from Genesis, and is one you’ve probably read since you were a child:
Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;
“and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.
As you go through your day today and your cares mount, perhaps you’ll pray for God’s mercy, or His blessing, or for your immediate needs to be met. But remember to give thanks for the light of His Word. Through this light, all our needs are met.
We needed light. And God has given us light.