Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?”
What a unique treasure for our family to own three campers! My husband, Chris and I have been camping for only three years, while his brother’s family, as well as his parents have a few more adventures under their belts. I didn’t grow up camping, but I have learned to love the way it constantly brings family together around the table at mealtimes. We also pray a lot when our family is on the road with dualies and 16,000 lb 5th wheels. We always gather in a circle to pray before we leave, and we hold our breaths a little until all loved ones safely arrive to the vacation spot.
Today, we begin a week of vacation at Hilton Head Islands, South Carolina, but it hasn’t started out smoothly. Chris’ brother, affectionately called “Uncle B”, worked a late shift last night before he drove his wife and two sons down from Atlanta. His arrival time should have been around 11:00 pm.
Uncle B ran into some trouble on Interstate 16, not a road you want to have issues on. His alternator was dying. I know, I wasn’t sure what that meant at the time, but an alternator keeps your battery charged, which makes it possible for you to have lights, A/C, and most importantly power to drive the car after you stop at red lights. Uncle B was an hour away and unsure if his truck would make it: windows down, radio off, and lights fading every mile. Kylie, my daughter, was naturally teary and worried, and I comforted myself as I told her, “Worrying doesn’t do us any good, but your prayers will get him here.” Chris chimed in, “If anyone can get that truck here, Uncle B can.”
We anxiously awaited Uncle B’s arrival, and we finally got the call that he was 5 minutes away. The campground was dark by then, and if you have ever been to Hilton Head, you can envision all the beautiful trees lining the small roads to the camping sites. Uncle B’s lights were too dim to see. I waited with Chris’ mom and the kids at the campsite, and then one of them yelled, “I see lights coming!” The headlights were super bright, and we realized it was Chris’ dad’s truck. He had gone to the front of the campground and waited for Uncle B. Bubba’s (Chris’ dad) full-strength headlights were able to guide Uncle B through the maze of sleeping campers. We cheered as they pulled in even though quiet hour began at 10 pm.
We all knew the process of backing in and setting up, so all of us pulled out our cell phone lights, headlamps, flashlights, and any lights we had to offer. We were able as a family to guide Uncle B safely in. It was a beautiful sight: lights, family, little ones thanking God out loud.
You may not have a camping experience or even desire to go camping, but have you ever felt like your lights were dimming? You want to feel fully charged and enjoy the journey, but your strength is fading. You have prayed many nights, yet the slow fade of light keeps your vision limited to one foot in front of the other. It’s not your fault, but these are your circumstances. What makes it even more challenging, is that you can’t get to where you want to go by yourself.
Can I encourage you? Do you know that there are fellow believers surrounding you right now willing and longing to guide you home with the lights God gave them? Some may have headlights and be able to speak words of affirmation from their knowledge of God’s Word. Some may have cell phone lights and be able to provide the life-giving relationships you long for, and some may have flashlights that can provide wisdom and point you to the right way. Don’t lose hope. You are a dearly loved child of God. If anyone can journey home with the specific challenges you face right now, you can! Parts of your journey may look different than you anticipated or expected, but when you surround yourselves with a family of believers, it will be a beautiful sight with all forms of light drowning out the darkness.
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
“The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?” Psalm 27:1