In the Spotlight

 When I was six, my family was in the middle of some difficult times.   It wasn’t an easy for my family, and although I know I still don’t understand the scope of the entire picture, I knew that at times things were bad.  For the most part, my older brother and I lived in a family struggling for money and struggling for identity.  My parents were new Christians and learning a new life following a bout with addiction followed by rehab.

It was late one evening when my mom awoke me.

“Krista, I need your help,” she shook me awake with a frail voice and a glimmer of tears streaming down her face.  Peering up at my mom, I knew something was wrong and at that point, with no one to turn to, she turned to me, her innocent baby girl.  My mom told me she was worried about her husband.  He had not returned home after a trip to north Florida.  (I’m not really sure how we survived before cell phones!) She asked me to pray for him.

“What was he wearing?” I questioned her in a meek and sleepy voice.  She replied relaying his last known garments as well as his last known whereabouts.

I’m not sure how I knew what to do, but what happened next was my first experience with God touching my life and showing his love.  I prayed for my step-dad, and I remember it perfectly.  I envisioned him on a dark stage, in his clothes that my mom told me about.  He was standing center stage with a bright spotlight shining down on him from heaven.  I prayed believing that God would answer.  I prayed that my mom would feel relief from concern she had.  I prayed that this light, shining from heaven, would lead our family to a place of healing.  God shined his light down on our lives that night.  Within a few hours, Dan called.  He told my mom that something told him to just pull over and make the call.  He was coming home; it was time to fix some things.

My parents remained married and steadfast through a time that many would have chosen to give up.  I can’t deny, that in the days, weeks, and even years to come, there were many nights I wondered why and how the family stuck together, but in the same way God shined down on us that night I prayed, he continued to shine his light down on us.  He never gave up, so we never gave up. Thirty-plus years later, I know that God was with us then and still is shining down on us in both good times and bad.

John 8:12 tells us, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  At age six, I didn’t know this verse by heart, but I knew, innately, that Jesus was the Light that could bring my family peace.  I knew that God’s love was much greater than man’s addiction to the world, and I believed it fully. Today, I hold dear the memory of that moment when God revealed the incredible ways He answers prayers.

I share this story with others now as a reminder of the faithfulness of our Lord. My parents will tell you that they do not recognize themselves thirty years ago, and while I agree, I’m also thankful for the lessons we learned as a result.  Life is not always easy, and as a child I lived some difficult times, but God is what brought me and my family through.   Many people today face similar difficulties. Sometimes the darkness can be caused by other’s choices, but I pray that you too can grow from them, and faithfully pray for the light to shine down and provide clarity and connections.

Matthew 5:16 stresses this point, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” To be a light shining in darkness is what God calls us to do.  He does not want us to focus on the past, but rather live in the light that he provides and be a light to others.  Imagine if we went through life with a spotlight shining down on us.  How would we let that light shine?

Let us pray: Dear Lord, just like that light shining down during a humble and innocent prayer so many years ago, please let us see others in your light.  Lord, help me to be willing to experience prayerfully and faithfully, and be open to you.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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