Light! There have been times when that light in the darkness has made such a difference.

I remember driving [barely] down a highway while traveling cross country. It was a very dark night, with fog so thick I couldn’t see more than a couple of feet in front of me, and there was no one else on the road. Scary. At some point, another vehicle pulled out ahead of me. There was some comfort in seeing those red tail lights ahead of me.  Small though they were, that bit of light granted me a boost of hope in traveling that dark road. It made all the difference.

There have been other highways – the kind I had to walk through, the sort I had to pray through in order to learn the lesson, deal with a hardship, or endure until the darkness lifted or was banished.

A beacon blinking for safety on dark seas. A flashlight to check things out in a dark closet. Head lights to guide us down a dark road. The sun making its appearance after a long, dark night.  A person whose inner light gives us strength to hang on. A Better Light, transcending what this world offers, for the quiet times of storm in our personal journey.  A bit of illumination to make the difference.

Whatever it is, or however we define it, “light” is a gift.  Here are a few lights that have helped guide me:

1. A good book that enriches my mind.

2. The scriptures that enrich my soul.

3. My parents, whose example still lights the way for me, many years after they have left this earth.

4. My husband, whose desire to help, grow and learn gives me strength.

5. Quotations that seem to ring in my heart & grant peace and ‘light’ when I need it.

6. Remembering: What I’ve successfully dealt with and learned from, friends who have taught by their own example, principles that will last longer than a current storm I may be going through, the gift of humor- lighting up my heart like a giant light bulb.

7. The welfare or charity projects that abound at Christmas time. Youth working to help some elderly neighbors, singing carols at care centers, providing Santa-help for families who need the boost, calls or emails to say “Hey, thinking of you.”

8.  That perfect spot of light when kneeling in prayer [or driving, waiting in line, cleaning the house…], feeling the light and warmth of heaven in my heavy heart.

Each little bright spot offers a candle in the darkness…and grants hope in our hearts.

This Christmas season is the “season of light” – with the focus, in all Christian people, on our Savior who is the Prince of Peace and who is the very light in and through all things. Every bit of emulation of goodness can be a little flashlight pointing in the direction of Jesus Christ.

Each candle or light atop a roofline, every bright smile or loving comment, each Christmas tree lit or decoration adding gaiety to the holiday season is a symbol. I love those symbols… quietly reminding me of the tail lights to follow down a dark road, the bulb that allows me to read a good book, the light house blinking safety to the mariner.

No darkness is stronger than the smallest light. The sure brightness will always be available – because of our Savior, whose delight is to light the way for us.

The star of wonder that shone on the baby in Bethlehem can still fill us with wonder. Being alert and aware, we can grab hold of the miracle of the Christmas season, and shine. We can ponder over the many and varied ways the goodness of Light has shone in our hearts and in our minds. We may celebrate by more closely following the King of Kings, glowing with goodness and marking the Way for a soul needing a bit of a lamp to light the way.

That light in the darkness… it makes all the difference.