John 1:1-5, 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.


I spent a number of years as a volunteer firefighter in the area. One of the things that always struck me was the difference between the darkness and the light. When going into a structure during a fire you get to experience what it is like to work in little or no visibility; the combination of smoke and darkness closes in and you have to be extremely cautious with every step you take. As you negotiate the darkness, it often seems as if the structure you are in is immense and full of obstacles to your progress. Then as the fire is extinguished and the smoke is cleared out, I can walk back through the same structure and discover that most times what seemed like a huge building in the darkness has become much smaller and much less confusing in the light.


I find that my walk with Jesus is like my experience in the fire service. When I stumble in the darkness, the problems of this world seem so much bigger and more difficult to negotiate; I trip and fall and struggle to find my way. But I have discovered that when I am in relationship with Jesus, his light penetrates the darkness of the issues of life. When I walk with him I discover the problems I thought were so big, and so impossible to face or overcome become smaller and manageable because I don’t face them alone and he shines his presence into my circumstances. As I heard Chuck Girard once say, “We make our problems huge and our God very small; the reality is that our God is bigger than we can comprehend, and in him our problems are very small.”