Standing Guard

My daughter Lindsay and her 11 year old son Noah were walking in the mall after his dentist appointment. Out of the corner of her eye she saw him quietly turn his head to the left as they walked by the Victoria’s Secret store on the right and not turn back until they had passed it... read more

Quiet on the Set!

I was watching a documentary on how movies are made, from beginning to end. But what was most interesting to me was what happened before the actual taping of each scene. Activity on the set was crazy! There were last minute makeup and hair touchups as one person ran over to straighten... read more

Shingles in the Darkness

"I have come as a light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me would not remain in darkness." John 12:46 (NIV)

It was a night of firsts: my first bad storm by myself. My first time to deal with high winds, then no electricity. My first time to not have my always calm, strong husband check out the storm for me. The love of my life for over 35 years had passed away unexpectedly just three and ½ months earlier. I was by myself, in the dark, searching frantically for a flashlight, wondering where in the world I had put my matches. And feeling very very much alone.
Digging through a catchall drawer finally yielded a small flashlight which in turn lit up the shelf where matches were tossed. Three lit candles flickered on a bookcase and managed to ever so slightly chase the darkness back into the corners of the living room. But nothing could disguise the thump on the roof of loose shingles. Shingles that, every few minutes, flew through the night like wounded birds, landing against a window or on the front lawn. A call to the electric company resulted in a "We're aware of the outage, Mrs. Hughes, and we will send someone to check it out." But that statement did nothing to warm the house or calm my nerves.
My thoughts switched from my situation of sitting in the darkness all alone to friends and family who are in a spiritual darkness. How frightening that must be! No security, no peace in the storm when everyday problems come. What protection is there against the shingles of life that break loose and threaten to land against our straw houses built on sand? A shingle might include: losing a husband, a career failure, a child who leaves and never looks back, the realization that one's life dream will never be fulfilled. Shingles that seem to multiply and fly around in the spiritual darkness until they threaten to take complete control mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
As I sat curled up beneath two afghans on my sofa with only candles and a small flashlight, I called on the One who is in control of all things. Storms are nothing new to my Savior. After all, He calmed waters that seemed out of control to some fishermen in a boat. I closed my eyes and bowed my head. My prayer was for safety and protection for me in this situation, but something else occurred as I lifted up my concerns. With my eyes shut and my focus on Jesus, it no longer became important that the lights were not on in my house. My focus was on the true Light in my life: my Lord Jesus Christ. And my prayer changed from one of protection for me to one of petition on behalf of those I love who do not know Jesus. The darkness in my home was only temporary. But living in a world without the Light of the universe in my life and the lives of my loved ones will result in eternal darkness.

Father, thank you for sending your Light to a world in darkness. Help me to always focus on that Light and not on the situation around me. Please give me the courage and wisdom to share your Son with friends and family who desperately need a Light-changing experience in their lives. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

What do you focus on first when one of life's "shingles" flies into your path?

Is there a prayer warrior in your life who would help you memorize Scripture to help you stand firm against satan's darkness?

Begin each morning by handing over to the Lord all the "shingles" that may come your way during the day.

Can you set aside 15 minutes each day to pray specifically for friends and family members who need the Lord?

Make a list of those "shingles" that threaten to take control in your life.

Using note cards write down Scripture encouragements for each "shingle" and place them in a drawer, in the pocket of your favorite jeans, in the medicine cabinet, in the freezer, etc.

Psalm 18:28, "You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light." (NIV)

Psalm 27:1, "The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?" (NIV)

I Peter 2:9, "For you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." (NIV)

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Copyright 2010  Nancy E. Hughes