It wasn’t a dark and stormy night, just a dark night. I had stopped by the church to set up some equipment for the next day’s Sunday service. The 8:30 a.m., contemporary praise and worship is held in the chapel and incorporates multi-media into the service. My husband and I are in charge of running the computers, but on this particular night, I was the only one in the building.
Now, I am generally not a jittery type. As a kid, I loved listening to scary stores and going to horror movies. You must remember, however, that what was shown way back in my childhood was nothing like the slasher films of today. The modern versions are just not my style. I like the good old-fashioned stories that gave you a chill but not nightmares.
I tell you that so you will know why it didn’t bother me to enter a dark and empty church…one that creaks and groans, even when the wind isn’t blowing.
As I entered the chapel foyer, I turned on the light located by the door. The lights for the interior of the chapel are way down at the other end by the band area, and even with the foyer light on, it’s still dark. The illumination from the foyer just doesn’t reach very far into the room. So I was just more or less feeling my way down the aisle on instinct. When I got to the front, I stretched out my hand to turn on the lights. As I looked back into the room, I realized how bright it looked. I looked at the panel of light switches, and sure enough, they were still in the “off” position, so where was the light coming from?
I walked around to the front of the railing where the answer became clear.
On the altar sits a tall brass cross. The light from the foyer was reflecting back from that cross. I hadn’t seen it when I first came in because when I had been walking down the aisle, my body had blocked the light coming from the foyer. But when I was out of the way, the light was able to be reflected by the cross, making it bright enough to dispel some of the darkness.
Once again, it seemed, God was giving me a little tap on the shoulder. Just like that light, He was letting me know that I needed to get out of the way and let Him do His job. You see, I had been having some worries at the time and was suffering from insomnia and high blood pressure because of it. Deep down, I knew I needed to “let go and let God,” but somehow, like most of us, it was just too hard to hand over the reins. Oh, I would tell myself that I wasn’t going to worry, that I would give it to God, but the next day, I’d jerk it all right back out of His hands so I could fret and worry over it some more.
I had been in that room many times, and I had never seen the light reflected like that. I knew in my heart that this was a special message for me. God and I had a conversation that night, and this time, I gave Him all my troubles and cares without reservations or strings attached.
“This is why I sent my Son,” I heard in my heart. “To give eternal life. To give hope and peace.”
And as we get ready to celebrate the birth of that Son, I can’t help but hope that each of you reading this will find your way to that same peace. It’s certainly more precious than any gift you might find under your Christmas tree.
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