Laying Down My Torch

Torch Light

Do you ever have trouble sleeping at night?

Do you ever wake up really early in the morning with various things on your mind?

Do you ever ask these kinds of questions of your God…
What do you want me to do, God?

Where do you want me to go with this situation?

How do you want me to handle this?

I’m feeling pretty uncertain and feel totally in the dark, God. What’s going on?

Well, I don’t know about you, but these are the kinds of questions I’ve been asking my God lately. We have some issues that are keeping me awake at night as I try to figure out what we should do. I’ve been uncertain as to our course of action and as I keep praying about it, I just have felt, quite honestly, so in the dark.

Well, this morning, I got up early as has become my custom to have some learn and “talk it out” time with the Lord.

The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. Isaiah 50:4

Isn’t that great? The LORD knows I’m weary and He knows that I need His instruction and guidance. I appreciate this verse that seems to say to me, “Keep at it, Heather. Keep coming to me and my word will strengthen you and encourage you.”

As I read further down, Isaiah 50, I came to these verses…

Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark and who has no light trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.

 But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your own fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you will receive from my hand; you will lie down in torment. Isaiah 50:10-11 NIV

Yep, that pretty much nails me. As I keep trying to figure this situation out and find my way, I’m doing exactly what these fire lighters were doing as well. The King James version says it this way, “Behold, all ye that kindle a fire that compass yourselves about with sparks…” Is a specific word picture forming in your minds like it is in mine? I easily see myself carrying a torch and trying to use its sparks to find my way in the dark…what’s happening to my torch though? It’s burning out…I’m using a temporary, self-sustaining measure to find my way and its ultimately going to fail me.

What’s the answer then? Back to the King James Bible we go… Let us trust in the name of the LORD and stay upon our God. v. 10

The LORD doesn’t want me to find my own way. He doesn’t want me to be self-sustaining and self dependent. He wants me to rely upon Him and trust Him to see us through this time. He acknowledges the fact that I’m in the dark and that I’m walking in the dark. However, that doesn’t mean I’ll be in the dark forever on this matter. He wants me to stay with Him.

His word says, “Trust in the name of the LORD and rely on Your God.” v. 10b

This kind of trust comes from the Hebrew transliterated word, batach. Batach means

In the proper sense: a place of refuge.

In the abstract sense: a place of safety, both the fact (security) and the feeling (trust); There is confidence, hope, safety and security.

How many of us walk in the dark feeling safe, secure and without care?

Aren’t our senses heightened?

Aren’t we paying attention to where we walk and/or how we walk so that we don’t stumble?

Don’t we feel like we’re on our own?

Instead, our batach (trust) walk is confident, sure-stepping, safe, secure and bold. Why? Because we are not alone. Our God is with us. According to batach, fact and feeling come together in security, trust, and assurance that our God will lead us with His Light.

It all comes down to this, I think…

Jesus said this, “When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:44-46 NIV

Instead of focusing on the uncertainty of the darkness, we focus on looking to our LORD Jesus Christ. When we focus our sights on our Savior, He will take us exactly where we need to go and when. Our circumstances remain in the dark for just a season. We walk without care. We walk without worry. We walk with confidence and hope. We lay down our self-sufficiency and our self-made, unsustainable torches and exchange them for the all sufficient, all glorious Savior and Light.

Let’s pray about this one…

Heavenly Father, I ask your forgiveness for making my own torch in my situation. The sparks from it, haven’t led me anywhere except to sleepless nights and early morning worries. I really want to feel safe and secure in You. However, I realize that trying to make my own torch and plan a Heather-made solution will not succeed. Father, I need your help to find my way through the dark. I need to experience how fact and feeling intersect in trusting You wholly and without care. Father, You’ve been trustworthy in my past. You are trustworthy my present situation. You will be trustworthy in the future; even when I don’t see how all of this is going to work out. Father, I choose to trust You and walk confidently and without fear in Your steps. Help me, Father. Thank You, My Lord. Amen.

Photo by Loren Szatger of Flickr

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