"O God of light, Your Word, a lamp unfailing, Shall pierce the darkness of our earthbound way, And show Your grace, Your plan for us unveiling, And guide our footsteps to the perfect day.
"From days of old, through blind and willful ages, Though we rebelled, You gently sought again, And spoke through saints, apostles, prophets, sages, Who wrote with eager or reluctant pen."
Do you remember getting lost as a kid, I mean really lost? Sometimes it's something we did, some ill-conceived plan that leads us to a dead end. It might be getting lost taking a "shortcut" through the woods, pushing through the brush, or ending up in a dense thicket of thorns. Maybe we rocketed out of our neighborhood on our bike, leaned into some crazy hairpin turns, and found ourselves in unfamiliar territory. Or maybe it was looking at a museum display, Tyrannosaurus Rex towering overhead, and suddenly finding ourselves in a sea of strangers, with no parent in sight.
Feeling lost is a frightening experience.
As an adult, we're probably better at navigating the woods, and chances are we won't get all turned around riding our bikes anymore, but that doesn't mean we can't get lost. It can happen lots of ways: "How did the rush I get from gambling go from weekend card games to losing my house to Vegas?" "What could I have done differently to save my marriage? How did we go from heated disagreements to protracted harangues, where 'divorce' became the topic of conversation?"
Why do I feel so lost, so adrift? Worse yet, why don't I care? How is it that I feel so in step with the world and so out of step with God?
The English hymn-writer, Sarah Ellen Taylor, shows she understands the human condition. Our situation, whether it be childish ignorance or grown-up rebellion, puts us at a complete disadvantage. We are bound, as she writes, to the darkness that resides within and without. Oh, but for the light of God's living Word, radiance unfailing, we would know nothing but the abysmal depths our sin would drown us under. It is God who makes a way for us in our calamity, who sought us in the night, giving us "saints, apostles, prophets, sages" who were faithful to His Word and steadfast on our behalf.
And then to shatter the darkness completely, He sent Jesus, who knows our frailties and loves us still.
Hebrews 4:14-16 says, "Since then we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
Indeed, let us draw near, and do so quickly.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, apart from Your Son Jesus, we are lost. Bless You for seeking and saving us. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber. It is based on the hymn, "O God of Light," which is found on page 836 in the Lutheran Service Book.
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