Light in a Jar
“You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”
They’re back! There’s one. There’s another. Look over there. I see it too! The lightning bugs had returned to brighten the evening hours. The girls squealed with amazement at the sight, and my own mind went back to childhood days when we ran to catch them in Mason jars then marveled at the twinkling container.
I don’t know how long after creation when God proclaimed, “Let there be light” that He created this gentle bug that flashed on and off and flew just high enough for children to chase. I do know, though, that every time I see one, I wonder at God’s unlimited creativity.
I’ve seen this same creativity through the years in the ways He’s illuminated my own dark nights. One particular experience especially illustrates His creative grace. Raising four young children and teaching full time strained my emotional reserves. Adding caregiving responsibilities for my precious mother with dementia drained the last of my oomph. Even God seemed silenced by the demands in my life. Music disappeared as well as joy. I recall clearly the day I cried out once more in utter desperation asking God why He remained so silent during my drought. Just as I turned the corner, I saw before me what I call a ‘reverse’ sunset. I was so shocked, that I pulled into the nearest parking lot to stare in wonder. Blue rays shining up from the horizon pierced a white sky. I tried to remember if I’d ever seen anything similar and determined I hadn’t. That was twenty-six years ago, and I still haven’t seen another. I was convinced that God answered the cry of my heart with a creative wave of His hand to let me know He was not only there but that He would turn the dark season of my life into light.
Shortly afterwards, a wise friend referred me to a Christian doctor for medical intervention. In that very first meeting he assured me that God had not been silent but my ability to perceive His voice during depression had been impaired. Things would soon get better—and they did! I not only began to hear the birds’ songs, I also began to sense gentle God’s presence. I learned that God has unlimited, creative resources for every dark season of life if I will choose to seek His light. Perhaps that’s why those little lightning bugs bring me such joy. They remind me of a God who can keep my own light burning and turn my darkness into light just as He does for them!