In a previous post I talked about the darkness that is cloaking our land and how there is an enemy that seeks to destroy us. But what about the light? We live in perilous times today, disease, riots, looting, racial strife, and poverty are all around us. Not just present in the world, but directly affecting us daily. In the midst of that darkness how are we to find the light?
First, we must start with the source of the light, Jesus Christ.
“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.’ ” John 8:12 ESV
Seeking out a personal relationship with Christ gives us access to his light through the holy spirit. With is comes a personal peace and clarity to address the hear and now with a hope for the future despite the darkness around us. Hebrews 13:8 tells us; “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever”. So, we can trust in him to always be the light.
As much as this can be a comfort for us personally, for parents there's a different challenge. How do I express that light and hope in a way my children can understand and accept? They are dealing with the chaos in our world in a way we never had to. How do we show them the light in a way that will help them through their own dark valleys?
As silly as this might sound it starts with just letting them know there is a light. One of the fun things I did with my kids when they were really little is singing the old Sunday school song, This Little Light of Mine in the car. Every time we sang "let it shine" I would turn on the dome light. It always brought giggles, and I'm sure even today with college students I could probably start that song and they would smile about me turning the light on.
With older kids, I've found that it's really about the basics. When the darkness looms over us and they ask hard questions we follow Proverbs 3:5 -"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding." Since we don't have all the answers, we seek the truth in the Bible. Having he humility to say, "I don't really know the answer to that, let's see what God's word says.", goes a long way to helping your children establish their own deep understanding of The Light of Christ.
Sometimes they wrestled with the truth in a way I didn't really understand or comprehend. However, I found that keeping an open mind to their point of view allowed us to reason together to come to an understanding that unified us. That was particularly hard in the teen years as they each have had complex challenges with life and faith.
Which brings me to the most important aspect of seeking The Light, prayer. Whether it's my personal time with God, or time as a family, prayer is essential to connecting with The Holy Spirit and the light reflected from it. There have been many times these past months where The Light in our life has come from a time of prayer. These moments have helped connect us as a family and unify us in our commitment to continue to push back the darkness.
My prayer for you and our nation is that we can thank God that, the light, never changes, and that if we turn to him we can reflect the glory of his light in the world. Then we can live with the joy of knowing Christ, despite all that goes on around us.
For more on helping your kids find joy and peace in these dark times, J.J. Johnson and I talk about the joy that comes from seeking the light of God's wisdom in this episode of Two Dads and A Joke.