On the first day of the rolling blackouts during the crazy and historic winter weather of February 2021 here in Texas, we did not experience much regularity – we simply didn’t know when we would be with or without power or for how long. The next two days brought a schedule to the blackouts of forty-five minutes on and forty-five minutes off. We learned to mark the time, so that we could cook, microwave, shower, reboot the internet, and charge devices as soon as the power came back on. But on that first day, the power went out twice unexpectedly while we were in the process of cooking.
At one point after dark when the electricity shut off, my eleven-year-old son Clay held my cell phone with the flashlight on as I finished making dinner at the stovetop. It happened kind of naturally and I was focused on the task at hand, so it didn’t dawn on me that my child was providing such a vital service to me until I finished cooking. Then, I looked at Clay and said, “thanks for holding the light for me.”
Sometimes, we feel like we are in the dark in life. We may even feel disconnected from the power source – we may believe that God is distant from us. Our time of darkness may happen suddenly, like the electricity going off, or may come upon us gradually, like the sun setting, but either way, we may be lost because we do not see a clear way out of the dark.
But when someone holds the light for us, they shine God’s love on us. They remind us that we are not alone, and that God has not left us. We can begin to feel a bit of warmth and see a path back to the broader light. We can start to feel hope. And when we finally come out of the dark, we can then be the light for another.
In a letter to the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul wrote, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). When we find ourselves in darkness, let’s look for others who can support and encourage us, who will be the light at the end of the tunnel, pointing to God’s love and mercy. Then, let us hold the light for others while they are in darkness to demonstrate God’s compassion and comfort. We can allow the light of God to shine through us and help illuminate the darkest night.