Religion column: Jesus leads us safely through dark times

Many in our community are doing through dark times. Tragic accidents come, sickness descends once again on those we love and our hearts are grieving and saddened.

Yet, through the storms and dark times of our lives, Jesus is our hope and our light. The following story best illustrates that spiritual concept.

Years ago, our family headed north to see relatives. On the way, we spent two nights in Kansas City, Kansas so our family could visit some friends from seminary days. We checked in the hotel and settled in for a good night's sleep.

But something startled us in the early hours past midnight. It was around 1:30 in the morning when a knock on our hotel room door woke us all up. Daddy, surprised at who it might be at that hour, jumped out of bed and opened to the door. That is when we all heard the voice of an excited and harried young man who was employed by the hotel.

The attendant warned us that a tornado had been sighted in Kansas City. The tornado was spotted on the ground and was coming in the direction of the hotel!

Nervously the young man gave us instructions to go downstairs to the basement so we would be safe if the tornado really did hit. The severe thunderstorm had already caused the lights to go out in the hotel. That's why the young attendant was distributing candles to all the visitors to help light the way to the basement. No backup lights were in the building.

We grabbed our robes and Daddy took Susie's hand and Mother mine. Frazzled and still droopy eyed, we traipsed out the door and into the hall.

Once in the hall, the hotel personnel told us that the elevator was out of order because of the electricity predicament. We would have to take the long flight of stairs down to the basement, descending by foot, holding on to our candles and robes!

But we soon realized we were not alone. As we walked the hall, doors were opening all around us as other guests were heeding the warning of the hotel personnel. Even though our little dim candles were not very helpful to a dark hallway, our hearts were encouraged as we all held our candles collectively. With many candles, the entire hall lit up as if the real lights were on! That entire candle light together gave enough light to guide us all to the hotel basement to safety.

When our lights were united with all the other folks carrying candles, the dark hallway lit up like magic. Our steps became more confidant and our nerves more settled. We could see where we were going.

That experience impresses upon me this singular great thought: Through the storms and dark times of our lives, Jesus is our hope, our light! There is a sense of presence of God in the worst kinds of life's circumstances. We do not walk alone. God is with us.

John 8:12 reads: "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'"

Jesus as the light of the world dispels darkness, through the light of His truth and consequently the light of His comfort. He diffuses darkness through the light of His assurance and thus the light of His the peace and comfort follows. Then when we collectively pray with petitions, the light of His presence becomes even more evident.

To those in our community who are suffering, I would say that the corridors of life are at times dark; yet Jesus dispels the darkness and leads us safely through. We just have to trust Him.

Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at:

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