I am a Colorado native. I was blessed to have a childhood full of sunny days, four very different seasons, and plenty of outdoor activities.
As a kid we used to go camping all throughout the summer. We would load up our cars with hotdogs, s’mores supplies, tent poles, and sleeping bags and head to the Rocky Mountains in a long caravan with our closest friends. I have such poignant memories of these trips scented with pine needles and mountain air. They’re preserved in my mind and heart like venison by the smoke of cozy campfires.
One of my most vivid memories of camping had nothing to do with camping though. I remember one night up in the Mountains, my mom and I were walking back from the out house to our campsite. I must have been five or so but I felt much older because I had the responsibility of holding our flashlight to light our way back. My mom was so good about always looking for teaching moments with us kids and she didn’t miss out on this one. I remember her looking down at me while I diligently held the flashlight. Straight out. Beam long and wide.
“Kelsey, do you know that the Bible is like a flashlight?” she asked me.
I looked up, puzzled by the metaphor she was drawing.
“It is?” I said.
“Yes! The Bible says that the word of God is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. It would be really hard to find our way back to our tent without that flashlight wouldn’t it?”
“Yeah it would!”
“Well, it would also be really hard to find our way through life without the Bible. Just remember that whenever you’re scared or worried or need answers, you can always look in the Bible. It’s like your flashlight.”
I have never forgotten that moment, the one that could have been so dark and lonely were it not for the light provided by my Mommy’s faith and wisdom, and our flashlight of course. As only a child’s heart can, I drank up that teaching and it took root.
Fast forward to sixth grade. I struggled with fear a lot. I still do at times. My parents were going out of town and I was scared to be without them. They were leaving while I was at school and I knew that when I got home, they wouldn’t be there. My mom knew I was worried. She had prayed with me about it and we had talked many times about my fearful heart. I’m sure she was worried for me, now knowing what a mother’s heart feels like.
When I got home that day, I found a piece of paper taped to my bedroom mirror. It had a beautiful border around it, full of flowers and color but the words were even prettier.
“Peace I leave you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
God’s word, leading me like a flashlight to a place of peace and rest.
Another year or two passed by and I was a young teenager. Actually a better description would be an awkward teenager. I had braces, a unibrow, and baggy clothes because I was so shapeless. I was nerdy as can be, never without a book and the cool kids only talked to me to see if I’d give them the answers to the questions on our worksheets. I didn’t which only made me more of an outcast.
I struggled with insecurity as so many of us do so I decided to take a page from my mom’s book. I decided to see what the Bible had to say, what balm I could find for my soul.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 (NIV)
I taped it to my closet door so that every day, when I got dressed I’d remember that God was who I sought to please. Not the kids at school. Not the boy I had a crush on. Just God.
My sisters and I shared a bathroom that was also covered with scriptures on our wall, painted free hand by our mom.
“Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30 (NIV)
“How precious to me are your thoughts Oh God! How vast is the sum of them!” Psalm 139:17 (NIV)
Even now, as an adult, with a home of my own, this trend has continued. In this season of parenting, I have no greater desire than to see my kids choose the Lord; to see Him glorified in their lives. This is a long process though. The shaping of hearts takes years.
So I wait. Isaiah 26:8 hangs on my fridge.
“Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.” Isaiah 26:8 (NIV)
Are you seeing a trend here? Life is full of mountains; peaks high and rocky, and valleys low and peaceful. At times we climb them, enjoy the beauty and the satisfaction of mounting the challenge. Other times though, we’re asked by our creator to camp there. To wait in the still darkness and to learn that His love is even there in our mountainous challenges.
The mountains, away from the bustle of people and town, are dark at night though. That’s why he gave us a flashlight.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet, a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105 (NIV)
What areas in your heart are shrouded with darkness? Are you fearful? Insecure? Is your faith lacking in certain areas? I would challenge you to ask the Holy Spirit to help you identify it. Then I would urge you to take action.
Grab your Bible and see what it says about the hidden things in your heart. Use the concordance in the back. Do a Google search. Ask someone if they know any verses on the subject. Hey, send us an email or write a comment and we’ll be happy to help!
Once you’ve found your verse, write it down, hang it up and read it. Memorize it. Hide it deep in your heart so that whatever it is that’s held you captive can’t find it and snatch it from you.
Let the light of God’s word lead you to your place of peace, knowledge, righteousness, and understanding in Him. Diligently hold that flashlight. Straight out. Beam long and wide. I promise, the batteries will never die.
“He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3 (NIV)
Photo Credits: Kelsey Lasher