Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105 NLT
Many years ago, I worked the night shift in a hospital inpatient Psychiatric Unit under the direction of a “Doom and Gloom” physician. I dreaded the weekly staff meetings where the atmosphere was filled with cynicism. From his limited experience, he readily expressed that people do not change, and if you think that they have changed, then wait for the right situation to occur and they will relapse into their previous behaviors.
Change involves stepping out of the darkness into the light.
Because I worked the night shift, it was necessary to use room darkening shades and curtains in my bedroom to mimic night time during daylight hours. Eventually I changed all of the curtains in my home to block out the light, because I began to feel more comfortable in my “Cocoon of Darkness.” On my days off, I rarely left my home during daylight hours. All of my appointments were scheduled for later in the day, and I waited until evening to run errands.
Over time, I noticed a change in my body: lethargy, mood swings, loss of the desire to be around other individuals, and weight gain. I was evaluated by my physician, who ordered labwork that revealed a severe vitamin D3 and Calcium deficiency, along with the scale reflecting a 20 lb weight gain. His recommendation was for me to open the curtains, get outside for a daily dose of sunshine, take a walk, spend time with my friends and take my new medications as prescribed.
After following my physician’s advice to step out of the darkness, I decided to eliminate the Doom and Gloom from my life, by looking for a daytime job with a positive environment.
For one year, I was exposed to the dark side of life (no pun intended). The negative work atmosphere along with literally isolating myself to function only during evening and night hours led to critical changes in my physical body and emotional state of mind.
From a spiritual perspective, we also place ourselves in darkness when we fail to have a personal relationship with God. We place ourselves in darkness when we are not interested in studying the Word of God on a daily basis, when we have an inconsistent prayer life, and when we forsake the assembling of ourselves with fellow believers by not attending church and having social interactions with one another.
As our greatest Physician recommends: We can only stay in the light by staying in the Word of God. We are to walk with the Lamp–the Word of God–toward God who is the Light.
The Lord is my light and my salvation (first part) Psalm 27:1; God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. (last part) 1 John 1:5; therefore, we are “to walk in the light of the LORD.” Isaiah 2:5
When God commanded, “Let there be light”; that light extended beyond the cosmic atmosphere; God desires for us to view Him as the Light that is always present and ever-shining.
If by faith, we carry the lamp and keep our focus on God, the darkness of life subsides, and we continue our journey–to walk toward God the Light–one step at a time.
Challenge for day: Increase your time with God, and enjoy a face-to-face visit with friends.
Prayer for today: Dear God, Please help us to step out of the darkness by having a personal relationship with you. We realize the only way to know that you are the Light is to pray and carry the lamp. As we prepare to change our lives, we ask for your strength to continue our journey toward eternal life. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen!
Chapter for today: Psalm 27
Sonya Johnson Ruiz