24. Silent Night Illuminated
[Doodle by Tara at Doodle Through the Bible; download the free coloring page on her blog post. This devotion and doodles are our Christmas gift to you and we pray God bless you richly.]
I love to camp. There are many reasons why I like to camp. Lying on a comfortable air mattress in a tent listening to the sounds of God’s creation in the night opens my mind to the original, the native world unaffected by mankind. That foundation formed for our inhabitance that has endured ages upon ages is right where I am laying. The birds chirp as they settle in their nests, animals break branches nearby, the cicadas and crickets sound so alike, a log drops in the waning fire, leaves rustle as a small animal walks by, or a fish plops in the water.
As it gets deeper into the night, all of creation seems to sleep. It looks like another silent night. Sometimes I need a silent night. I wonder if this is how Mary and Joseph experienced the night in the stable after Jesus was born. Did they listen to the sounds of the night along with the soft breathing of their baby Jesus until creation went to sleep? Silent night. Holy night.
Then I have to pee. Yikes. Yep. Sometimes I cheat and go a short distance from the tent and squat. Don’t worry; I keep toilet paper in my tent and a bag for disposal. Sometimes I make the long trek to the park bathroom which is sometimes more like a disgusting outhouse and sometimes a convenient flush. Don’t worry. I still take my toilet paper. Enough empty stalls in the past taught me that lesson.
Be prepared. That is the motto my three Eagle scouts were taught. With toilet paper roll and flashlight in hand, I unzip the tent and set my course. It is so dark in the night I cannot even see where to take my next step. Even a small rock could send old me falling to the ground. I fumble and turn on my flashlight. I have one of those good metal ones with a long base to hold enough big sized batteries to give me the brightest light. It only illuminates so far in the distance, but enough to make out my path to fulfill my immediate needs. As I take steps, more of my path is illuminated. Trusting the light to continue to reveal my path, I make it to my destination.
God’s Word is the same. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” Psalm 119:105. God’s Word is like that brightest flashlight, full of power. I bring it with me to be prepared. When I need it, I turn it on by opening it up and reading it. It illuminates my path, my choices, for my immediate needs and circumstances. I keep stepping forward, not afraid of what might come next in life, and because I know when I get there more of my path will be illuminated. Trusting the light to continue to reveal my path, I will make it to my destination.