Last night my nephew stayed the night. We let the boys stay up a bit past their bedtimes so we can catch lightening bugs. As they were running around, I realized it had been a while since I had been outside in the dark. With young kids we cling to the light––we close up shop for the day. Oh my, it was a beautiful night and I was in awe of the dark cloudy sky. A much needed light glimmered through and around me.
I walked around our yard and watched the boys. I remembered the joys of my own childhood. I pictured my young self standing still and waiting for the small flickering of light. I felt the sneaking up, the holding up of one palm, and then the taking of the other hand to quickly trap the lightening bug. My favorite part was the release. Sometimes they would immediately fly off and other times they would linger for a few seconds. I would not move until I once again saw their flickering of light in the darkness. Then I was off to find the next flickering of light. I never had any doubt that I would find another.
I began to think of the pain in this world, of the darkness the pain brings. The sun always goes down and the darkness always finds its way. My natural instinct as a parent is to wrap my arms around my kids and pull them close to me. I want to cover their eyes and shield them from the darkness of this world. I love my children and want to protect them. I can’t though.
Instead of always trying to shield them, I need to show them how to stand in the darkness by always looking to God. One day they will have to stand in the darkness and I will not be able to shield them. I will not be able to shield them. (I have to say it once more.) I will not be able to shield them. What I can do is continue to equip them by:
- Teaching them the Word.
- Praying with them
- Praying for them.
- Leading by example.
- Pointing out the light in the darkness, even if it is just a flicker.
- Being their light when I can.
- Allowing them to be my light when they can.
- Trusting God and God’s path for them.
- Praising, loving, and striving to be more like Christ with them…the only unwavering light in this dark world.