READ: PSALM 32:7-8; ISAIAH 42:16; LUKE 1:78-79; JOHN 1:1-12
Merrick lifted the candle as he clutched his tunic. He felt the sand underfoot as shadows danced on the cave walls. “Beautiful, yes?” Father’s voice comforted him and pushed him to ignore the darkness. Yes, it was breathtaking—like a hidden world. “All this time,” Merrick said, fixing his eyes on the glittering ceiling, “the cave went farther than we imagined.”
“How about going farther now?” Father asked. Merrick took a deep breath and continued forward. Now was not the time to fear. The candle was near, as was Father. Besides, exploring was fun. He kept the candle outstretched and stepped after Father’s form. Suddenly, the flame flickered and with a whoosh, the candle went out. “Father!”
“I’m here, son. Stay calm.” He heard Father’s voice but could feel the panic seeping inside and eating his breath. Merrick reached Father and threw himself against him.
“Are we to die in here?” With the ink of night polluting his vision?
Father wrapped his arm around Merrick. “Tell me, what blew your candle out?”
“What?” Merrick’s breathing slowed.
“Listen, wind is whistling around us.” Yes, Merrick could hear the whisper. Then he could feel it. “And if you train your ears, you may hear a crashing.” Merrick lifted his head from Father’s tunic. Could it be the ocean? “I suppose if we move toward that sound we shall find light and escape this darkness. Place your hand on the wall and trace the rock as we walk.” Eager to see light, Merrick obeyed, his heart still shaking. Together they let the wind guide them. Soon, a faint light erupted into their line of sight.
“The darkness never lasts. Remember who our Light is.” Father’s words lit Merrick’s heart with courage. Now, he could see blue etched around the white haze.
Darkness would not last.
Merrick ran into the first wave that lapped into the cave and let it soak his shoes. He lifted his face to the sky, which shone a vibrant hue that melded with a gathering gray. He turned to see Father splashing behind him and laughed with relief. “The darkness is gone.” • Payton Tilley
• Today’s story is an allegory. Even when life feels dark and confusing, Jesus is the Light of the world. One day, Jesus will return to get rid of all fear and darkness, and in the meantime, He lovingly guides us through everything we face. What are some ways we can we encourage each other with the hope we have in Jesus?
“I [Jesus] am the light of the world.” John 9:5b (CSB)