Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Darkest Place on Earth

The lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of a man; it searches out his inmost being. (Proverbs 20:27)

Have you ever gone down into a deep cave and experienced the darkness?

As a young boy our family visited the Lewis & Clarke caverns in Montana. At one point of the tour our cleaver guide stopped and warned us that he was going to turn off the lights. Before he did this he explained the dangers of the cave, which included flying bats that had a habit of getting stuck in a woman’s long hair, and rats that nibbled at the plastic ends of sneakers (with a special hunger for the shoes of young children). Then he turned off the lights and we all stood in utter complete darkness, and it was then that my brother (who stood directly in front of me) took a small step backwards. All I could think of was the nibbling rats and I gave a good kick to rid myself of the unseen menace. My brother yelped like a hound dog kicked by a horse, and I don’t think he’s ever forgiven me.

But there is a place that is darker than even the deepest cave, and it’s closer than you may think. When we read God’s word, we are often exposed to that darkness as we consider our own hearts and inability to live up to what we read. Consider these other verses:

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119:105)
The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. (Psalm 119:130)
For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life. (Prov. 6:23)

My prayer today as I read is this: Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)

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