But when I hoped for good, evil came, and when I waited for light, darkness came. My inward parts are in turmoil and never still; days of affliction come to meet me. Job 30:26-27
Years ago, after completing high school, a Christian girl managed to break into the work force.
The first day of work showed her she was hardly ready to deal with the things the "real world" was going to direct her way. The lurid language of her fellow employees, the ungentle jokes of her boss as well as the cruel comments made by almost everyone shocked her.
Shaken, she returned home and told her parents she wasn't going back.
Before she had finished sharing her lament, her father interrupted. It was something he seldom did. Dad asked, "Honey, where do you put a light?"
She stumbled in her one-person rant, thought for a second, and then decided to ignore what her father had asked. She continued to tell her parents about what she had endured.
Her topic-changing father asked again: "Where do you put a light?"
Exasperated, she replied, "Dad, what does that question have to do with what I'm saying? What do you mean? You put a light where it's dark."
"Good," said her dad.
Making use of the break in his daughter's litany of offenses she had endured, he quickly continued: "Honey, the Lord has put you into a place where you, a Christian, are being given the opportunity to reflect the light of Jesus. You are to shine His light into a dark place. Go to work tomorrow, and let His light be shown and shared with those folks in the darkness, so they can see Jesus. Your mother and I shall pray that their darkness will not undermine you or cause your witness of faith to flicker."
I like Christian fathers who talk that way.
Unlike the weak and wimpy dads who are shown on TV, real Christian fathers have wisdom, insight, and a spirit of encouragement. For example, this father knew Job was right when he had said evil and darkness come and a man's life can be turned upside down by the cruelty of a sinful world.
But this Christian father also knew these things do not have the final word. Jesus does.
That's the fact he shared with his daughter. Then this particular father went one step further: he practiced what he was preaching; He reflected the light of the Savior into the darkness his daughter had encountered.
I have little doubt he and mom will continue to do so in the days and weeks to come.
To counter and conquer the evil, the sin, the circumstance, we have been given a Savior. His perfect life, His innocent death, His victorious resurrection bring light and hope to defeat darkness and discouragement.
As dad said, "We are being given the opportunity to reflect the light of Jesus."
God grant we do.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, life can dish out a fair share of nastiness. Enough of that stuff long enough can make things pretty dismal and dark. Grant us the grace to see and walk in the light of the Lord Jesus. Even more, dear Lord, let us share the Savior with others. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries