Lights In The Darkness

April 17, 2017
by Walter Haldorson

2 Corinthians 4:6 – For it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (NRSV)

In our younger years, my wife and I lived with our two children for a number of years in a tiny, isolated, Canadian arctic settlement on the west coast of Hudson Bay. The settlement was accessible only by air on an airstrip that had been quickly constructed by the military in 1957 to facilitate the construction of a radar station in the settlement. However, the project was abandoned almost before it began.

Although the airstrip was capable of accommodating the DC3 aircraft that were primarily in use in the north at that time, it was unlit, and when planes were expected to arrive at night, we residents of the settlement had to put out kerosene-burning flare pots, one on each corner of the strip and two or three along each side, to guide the plane in. Those instances were usually for medical emergencies, but at that high latitude in winter, the daylight hours were very short, and the flare pots were sometimes required for regularly scheduled flights as well. Obviously, the incoming pilots had to have absolute faith in us that we had properly placed the flare pots and that the runway was clear. It was literally a life-or-death situation, and the outcome of any mistakes or negligence on our part would have been unthinkable. Despite their trust in us, those pilots must have approached that air strip in the inky blackness of an arctic night with a high measure of anxiety.

Just as those pilots needed flare pots to guide them in, we all need figurative flare pots in our spiritual life to guide us in to Jesus. We have them in the Scriptures, where we read that Jesus paid for our sins on the cross, that He rose from the grave, that He promises eternal life with Him in heaven if we but believe and accept Him as our Lord and Saviour, and that He will be with us to the end of the age. We can be assured that He has properly placed the flare pots, and that we can approach Him with absolute faith and confidence, living for and trusting in Him both on our day-to-day journey and in our hope for eternity. Although we may still sometimes find ourselves anxiously circling around in the darkness, we have the assurance that we can in any situation approach those flare pots of promise with absolute confidence. They will see us safely in!

John 8:12 – Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life." (NRSV)

Prayer: God of light, illuminate our pathway to Jesus, and help us to illuminate those in the world who are struggling or overcome with darkness. Amen.

About the author:

Walter Haldorson <walter.haldorson@sympatico.ca>
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Great analogy Walter.


    What an excellent illustration of Jesus as our light. Thank you so much for this helpful devotional.


    Thank you for your inspiring devotion today.
    Blessings.


    Thanks for your historical message and also for the related scriptural guidance! It was a good analogy. Blessings.


    Walter,
    Good thought. I liked the analogy and the verse. Jesus as the light of the world at Easter.
    Blessings.


    Thank you Walter for your very inspiring Devotional.
    Jesus is indeed the Light of the world, a light which can never be extinguished!
    Every blessing on you and your family.


    Thank you, Walter, for sharing this enlightening devotional with us. Having lived thirty minutes South of the Arctic watershed, not nearly as far North as you were, I experienced short winter nights and long summer days. Blessings.


    Walter,
    That was fantastic! Thanks for sharing a bit of Canadian history that packs a powerful message. You’ve painted such a clear picture and it spoke to me on many levels.
    Blessings.


    Thank you for this devotional, Walter. I loved the image of the flare pots. I have always felt blessed to have important “touchstones” in my life, that have kept me grounded and safe, regardless of my circumstances. From your writing, I think my touchstones, are your flare pots!
    Blessings.


    Hi Walter,
    Very good words indeed, it reminded of the time when they did the same on a pipeline project I worked on in the Middle East. If a plane was late coming in, also DC3s, they would put the burning pots out so the pilot could see the runway.
    Thanks a lot for writing.


    Greetings and blessings of Easter to you and those you love!
    Did you not have Asdic Instrument Landing facilities up there? Surely, when the military left, they would leave that capability with you, for safety.
    Approaching an unknown airstrip without instrumentation, is almost unheard of, except in the most critical of emergency.
    It is just like trying to enter Heaven, without the guidance of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
    Whence cometh my help? My help comes from the Lord!
    Thank you, Lord that we can rely upon your help, forever. Amen
    (Ontario)


    Dear Walter,
    Thank you for today’s devotional. Your story about your experience in the remote settlement was so interesting. You are a gifted story teller and relating the light of the flare pots to the light of Jesus is inspirational and just what I need this morning. I am in the middle of a long standing disagreement within my family and I am expected to take a side. I need divine guidance as I am totally at sea like little boat without a rudder. I’m praying for wisdom and I need it now.
    I’m looking for the flare pots.
    May God continue to bless you and your gift.


    Greetings Walter,
    I much enjoyed your devotional this morning and appreciated your comparison of the “flare pots” to the directions Jesus lays out for us and our need to follow carefully and obediently in His path. Your story of laying out the flare pots took me back to the years of living in the far north of Alberta. We did have vehicle transportation in through the muskeg, but when a plane would come in the dark anyone with a vehicle would go to the airstrip and line up with headlights on, so the pilot could see where to land. Many prayers were said for the safe landing of those planes. The Lord is good!
    Blessings to you.


    Amen.


    Dear Walter,
    Thank you for a great illustration to give us added meaning for great truths.
    Our Lord is our guide. Amen.
    Keep writing.

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