“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Psalm 119:105, Amplified
I am a child of the 80’s. MTV and I were born the same year. (Cool, right?!) Needless to say, but my focus in the 80’s centered on the kid culture. I had the original Cabbage Patch Dolls, Teddy Ruxpin, Pound Puppies, Care Bears, Rainbow Brite, My Little Ponies, and a Glo-Worm to cuddle up to each night. I was up early every Saturday to watch my friends, The Smurfs, Thunder Cats, Masters of the Universe, She-Ra, Muppet Babies, Alvin and The Chipmunks, Disney’s The Gummy Bears, Fraggle Rock, and as the decade ended, Saved by the Bell. I
am was a New Kids on the Block fanatic, and my wonderful mother braved a concert with screaming 8 & 9 year old girls in tow when they came to Tulsa, OK. I made a sign for Jordan and proudly displayed it high above my 4 ft something head. I was going to marry him. Guess he didn’t see me?
I still have the original green Glo Worm in the back.
Yes, I had the castle too!
I could keep going and allow myself and all to reminisce about jean jackets, puff paint, neon leggings, popped collars, poofed hair, and the rise of the mullet. However, 80’s fashion trends seem to be creeping back in (really?) so just run on down to the local mall to see for yourself. We have more important things to illuminate.
One change that occurred in the 80’s was the rise in Christian pop music and the crossover artist. The biggest one of all, and the one I adored, was Amy Grant. Amy was the most successful Christian artist of the 80’s-90’s and remains the best-selling, contemporary Christian music singer, ever. Pretty impressive Ms. Grant. (Mrs. Gill?) Her music found its way onto the mainstream pop charts with hits like, “Baby, Baby,” and “Heart in Motion.” (Yes, I am singing them as I type. Judge away!) Some of my favorite songs by Amy from my childhood however, are songs like, “El Shaddai,” “Father’s Eyes,” “Sing Your Praise to the Lord,” “I Have Decided,” and “In A Little While.” I even had tapes I listened to each night of Bible stories, read by Amy Grant. But it was Amy’s 1984 song, “Thy Word,” that seems to flow out of my heart every time I read or hear today’s Scripture from Psalm 119.
Singing Scripture is one of the fastest and surest ways of writing it on your heart.
This verse in particular is recorded in many, many hymns and songs. It’s simple message is one we need to hear over and over. God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light unto our path. God’s Word is there to guide and direct our journey in life.
Now, since many of us do not walk by lantern in the night, it may be hard to imagine the kind of light that is cast. We are not talking about bright, light up the room, lighting. A lantern is able to cast just enough light directly on us and before us to make the immediate path and the next few steps clear. Even held aloft, a lantern can only illuminate so much of our surroundings. There will still be dark patches and unknown areas we cannot see clearly. However, God is clear in His Word.
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16
There He goes again. Reminding us He will not leave us. God does not promise here to turn all the dark into light. He says He will turn the darkness into light before them. He will provide enough light to make the path clear. He will provide light so we can see where are feet are and the place we should next step. We will be able to determine if there is a branch, hole, or other obstruction we need to step around, because God makes our next step clear. The problem is, we usually want to know what is coming up ten steps down the path, or at the end. We like our whole path to be marked, lit, and clear. That is our human nature, and it is often why we stumble. We try to run the path, looking far ahead, trying to discern in the darkness, instead of seeing the clear path that is lit before our feet.
There is something that I am learning, and I want to share it with you. God knows what He is doing. He knows what I need, when I need it, and when I am ready to receive. Sometimes God illuminates only the 3 steps in front of you, showing you the shallow ditch you have to climb through, because He knows that you are ready and equipped to take those steps. If He also showed you ten steps farther, and you saw the deep ravine you will need to traverse, you may stand frozen in fear, never even taking those first three steps. God knows which steps we are ready to see, and what parts of our journey are not ready for illumination. We need only ask Him to reveal our path, step by step.
Aaron, my husband, has used a line from Steve Harper, a former Asbury Seminary professor and Vice-President, often when preaching about discerning our paths.
“If only the next step is clear, take it.”
Ask God to show you the next step, trust Him to light your path, and then take it.
Day 8′s Daily Step from Holly Wagner’s book, “Daily Steps for God Chicks: The 90-Day Devotional For Real Women:
Use God’s Word as a light unto the current path or journey you are on. Find a Scripture verse or passage that can help illuminate your next step.
Use a keyword search on-line at http://www.biblegateway.com or look up a keyword in the back of your Bible.
Here is my Scripture for loneliness.
“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.” Psalm 25:16, NIV
Meditating and praying on this Scripture is a reminder for me to not only ask God to remember me in my loneliness, but to turn to Him. I envision myself crying out this verse, and God turning to me, embracing me in His loving arms and reminding me that I am not alone. I know that this is the place I find myself in every time that I spend time in His Word. He embraces me in His gentle reminders and enduring promises of love. I am not alone. I am loved. I am His.
I hope to see you for Day 9.