This Little Light Of Mine, WOW!


“Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” – Psalm 119:105

Tomb Of The Prophets, Only The Next Step - June 4th, 2014

It is true the head needs illumination, but even more the feet need direction, else head and feet may both fall into a ditch.”

My Another Heart team, Ed, Eddy, and I were making our way down from the top of The Mount Of Olives.  We had walked up over 500 stairs to the top on one side, and then began our descent down a narrow winding road that would lead us to the valley in front of the Eastern Gate of Old City, Jerusalem.  What we didn’t know were the places we would discover along this very slippery path.  Three are certainly better than one, as the heat of the sun would have made the pavement a great slide had I not had my navigator and defender keeping me on my feet.

Selfie on top The Mount Of Olives - Eddie, Ed, Shannan - June 4th '2014

Eddy, Myself, Ed

Ed always seemed to know where we were, so he was our designated navigator.  Admittedly, I had to apologize a few times for doubting him as he took the front of the line.  Never did we lose our way.  Eddy has a keen sense of awareness, so it was easy for Ed and I to deem him “Our Defender” as we walked through the crowd-filled streets.  Ed was in the lead, I was second in line for security reasons, then Eddy kept a keen watch as the rearguard.  I was grateful too, because I wanted to see and touch everything I could, and I got to do so because of my two strong brothers.

The first day we arrived I got the title, “The Great Negotiator”.  We were walking along the path toward the first station of the Via Dolorosa when a man tried to sell us a map for 5 Shekels.  At the time of the first offer we didn’t think we’d need it, but soon after I decided I wanted one, so I stopped at the next little shop.  The man there told me it was 10 Shekels.  I told him that another man quoted me 5, so we bargained back and forth.

“Ok, 8 Shekel.”

“No.  The man back there said it cost 5 shekels.”

“7 Shekel,” he countered.

“5”, I said.

“Ok!  5 Shekel.”

I paid the man 5 Shekels and thanked him for my map.  As we walked away with our new map, Eddy laughed and said, “Look at you!”  I didn’t think anything of it because I read about how to handle this area in the market, but apparently this quiet one is full of surprises to my team.  I like surprises, Ha!

Just a few feet down from the top of the great Mount, down a skinny paved path, we came upon a sign, “Tomb Of The Prophets – 50.T”.  There was a flight of stairs that led down into what looked like a hollow pit.  We looked at each other, smiled, and started down those steps.  If nothing else, we were going to cool off for a few minutes.  It was the hottest day of the week, even the locals told us it was crazy hot and not at all normal for this time of year.  On this day, my head-covering was less about respect of location as it was about staying sheltered from the intense heat.

The Tomb Of The Prophets - June 4th, 2014 The Tomb Of The Prophets Entrance - June 4th, 2014

As we entered the tomb the temperature dropped at least 30 degrees.  The drop was drastic enough that we could see our breath.  The smell and feel of the atmosphere reminded me of the basement in my childhood home in northern Ohio.  It was cool, a bit musty, and smelled like damp brick mixed with dirt.  I couldn’t tell if my dewy skin was from the moist air in this underground rock cavern, or if it was leftover from our time on top of the mountain in the blazing sun.  Either way, I was grateful for the natural air conditioner.

There was a lovely man standing at the bottom of the stairs, just through the entrance.  I call him ‘The Giver”, because he lit a candle and handed one to each person that entered the cave.  He then led us to a small sign hanging on the wall in front of us, it was a map of the tomb that explained a little about where we were, but nothing could prepare us for the utter darkness we were about to encounter.  We desperately needed our little lights and had to make sure our breath did not blow them out.  Snuffing out our light would have left us completely blind and consumed by the darkness.  Who knew such a tiny flame could light the way?

Tomb Of The Prophets, The Light Giver - June 4th, 2014 Tomb Of The Prophets, Receiving Our Light - June 4th, 2014

After The Giver was finished speaking we were free to roam.  The three of us branched off in different directions to explore.  I felt unprepared for the blackness.  I thought for certain that my eyes would adjust from the sunny mountaintop to this black pit.  I thought that my eyes would grow accustomed to the change and allow me some sense of sight, but they never did, the darkness was, well – just too dark.  The only thing that allowed me to scoot my feet forward, one small step at a time, was the little light I held in my hand.  If I fixed my eyes on it, I could see a few inches beyond it, just enough to take my next step.  Had I been anywhere else I know terror would have taken my mind and next heartbeat.  But, with my light in hand and the memory of the map, I knew I was safe and not far from my team and my way of escape.  I knew that the one who gave me this light was near and would never let me perish in this hollow pit.

I have to admit that I was getting a little frustrated because my small light didn’t really allow me to see much.  I felt this exploration was a bit in vain.  After all, I could not very well report on something I could not clearly see.  I had many moments on this trip that I questioned God, and here in this hole in the earth I asked Him again, “God, why am I here?”  Whatever the reason, please help me to see it.  You said You guide my every footstep…”  My prayer silenced as the thought of my feet crossed my mind along with a very familiar scripture verse.  “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”  Wow…”  I stared into my little light…  WOW!”  New life had just come to a very familiar verse that I have heard, and sung about, since I was a child.  This is what that means!  Literally, “A lamp unto my feet”!  Take a look at one of the types of lamps that was used to guide people before our modern-day light poles.

One Tiny Little Flame

This tiny flame is all people had to guide them through the night.  I often fail to remember that electricity, lightbulbs, and running water, were not always available.  Most of the world’s history was lit by oil lamps and candlesticks.  It’s hard for those of us so richly blessed here in the Western world to imagine such a time, but it wasn’t all that long ago.  No matter how the lanterns have evolved over time, from clay pots where the oil could easily spill to glass globes that more securely housed the oil, they still only held a small wick and a ration of oil, just enough for one’s present journey.   When we hear stories of how the Puritans had to flee under nightfall to escape the tyranny of Europe for example, we need to picture their hands holding small lanterns with a tiny wick and only a small amount of oil.

As I stood there in the blackness of the pit, I was in awe!  Suddenly the darkness around me could no longer keep me frozen in fear and unable to see. Though I could not physically see very far in front of me, barely my elbow, I knew the light that I held would not fail to lead me safely along the path.  I thought a lot about how Jesus and the disciples traveled.  They walked everywhere and often needed their light to guide them.  Jesus said, “Follow Me”, and by faith in The Light (The Light of the world) they followed – step by step.

During my state of wonderment, Ed and Eddy came to where I was standing to lead me to something they wanted me to see.  The black cavern lit up as they came near.  I was seeing something already, but their light mixed with my light allowed us all the ability to see more.  It’s true, we were walking and exploring on our own, but when we came together, the light became brighter and the darkness left.

“For where two or three are gathered in My name, I am in the midst of them.” – Matt. 18:20

The lights we held in our hands were not ours.  We did not generate this light on our own.  We could not will it to be by some happy thought, nor could we create it by meditating our thoughts into nothing and becoming one with the darkness.  The lights we held in our hands were placed there by “The Giver” when we accepted this journey we were on.  The light was his.  Just as The Giver gave us his light to guide our footsteps through this ancient tomb, so God gives us His Light, His only Son, to illuminate Himself and our safe passage through this world that is so clouded by darkness.

No matter what season I am in, troubled by life’s storms or being washed in the warmth of the suns rays, I need my team members.  I need you.  We need each other!  It is essential for us to walk alongside one another, to help with discernment and growth.  Our lights together bring greater clarity to this straight and narrow path we are on.  When one is weak, the other is strong.  When one can hear, the other can see.  When one can listen, the other can speak.  We are stronger together.  Together we become a complete body, knit together by the bond of Christ.  We are a light to the world because of His light shining through us.  One little light becomes a beacon of Love that dispels the darkness, when we come together.

When my brothers came to me in that cold dark tomb, I could see more clearly.  It’s true, we can choose to slowly stumble our way through alone with our light, but we are so much stronger and have a clearer vision of who God is when we bring our lights together.  Jesus didn’t even walk alone here.  He chose to walk with a community.

Tomb Of The Prophets, Only When Our Lights Came Together! - June 4th, 2014

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.  But one who falls alone is in real trouble… A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.  Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” – Eccl. 4:9-10, 12

If I find myself in a dark season in life, I know that Jesus is a lamp unto my feet.  With His light and the memory of my map, His word, I will keep stepping as I trust in Him.  The times I cannot see my next step, my way of escape, I know He can and He’s already gone before me.  Just like God led the Israelites with the pillar of fire by night as they journeyed through the wilderness, so God leads us with the light of His Son, Yeshua, as we travel through this life to our promised eternal home – step by faith-filled step.

~Shannan

“By a pillar of cloud You led them in the day, and by a pillar of fire in the night to light for them the way in which they should go.” – Nehemiah 9:12

The Journey Continues...

The Journey Continues…

4 Comments

  1. Elleni Williams said,

    09/05/2014 at 11:50

    Shannan, this is just so brilliant and insightful!!! I think everyone should read your wonderful blog, full of HolySpirit wisdom and inspiration! So very encouraging!

    • 09/06/2014 at 11:50

      You are so kind, Elleni. Thank you for your sweet encouragement. Please keep me in your prayers also, I don’t take this platform lightly and pray that God is represented well. I have so much to learn.

  2. 10/02/2014 at 11:50

    What a great post. I am also so amazed when I realize how much stronger a team is than me trying to do life on my own. For independent types, it’s a struggle to lean on others, but He calls us to do so, and our obedience to Him is always rewarded by peace. Thank you for posting, it sounds like you had a very enlightening trip.

  3. 01/15/2015 at 11:50

    […] if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son […]


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