A Lamp To My Feet?
Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” I have heard this verse my entire life, but I guess I never gave it a lot of thought until a couple of weeks ago.
Michelle and I go hiking every weekend, in fact, we are currently training to hike the Grand Canyon from rim to rim this summer with a friend of ours. A couple of weeks ago, we took a hike on the Goat Canyon Trestle Trail. We began this trail in Jacumba Hot Springs in Southern California and hiked over seven miles out and back, so it was a total of over fourteen miles. This trail follows abandoned train tracks the whole way, so more than three miles of it are inside tunnels. In fact, two of these tunnels were a half mile long each.
As you can imagine, these tunnels, especially the long ones and the curved ones, can get pretty dark. Also, the ground is extremely uneven, remember, we are hiking on old train tracks, tracks that were originally installed in the 1920s, so we are either hiking across the cross beams or dirt that has been filled in on them over the decades. But, not to worry, we carry our trusty headlamps.
The first of the long tunnels was a half mile long and curved. So, this one was somewhat of a double whammy. On top of that, I assume this one was a little less structurally stable than the others since the inside walls and floor had been sprayed with concrete to keep rocks and such from falling. I don’t believe that spraying the floors with the concrete was intentional, there’s was no need for it, plus it was very uneven and random.
As we had gotten a couple of hundred feet into the cave it became very clear that it wasn’t very clear anymore, so we had to get out our handy-dandy headlamps. I’ve never felt so much like a Boy Scout…I was prepared. So, we both put on our headlamps and continued. It didn’t take me very long to realize the problem with this. You see, I was hiking on an already sprained ankle, and I’m not exactly the most graceful person to begin with.
I have a high-end headlamp so I could see in front of me great. And, since Michelle was hiking in front of me, she could see where she was going with no problem. My problem was that I couldn’t see what the ground in front of me was doing. Now, I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but it didn’t take me stumbling more than two or three times to I realized there might be a problem with this. You see, I had a light for my path, but I didn’t have a lamp to my feet. Now, Michelle, who was also wearing a headlamp, had a light for her path, plus my headlamp was a lamp to her feet. Michelle didn’t stumble, but I did…several times.
So, what exactly is this verse saying? It says that the word of God is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. We must be able to see the path before us, but if we don’t have the lamp on our feet, we will stumble. The beautiful thing is that God’s word does both.
First, it provides light for our path. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” God has a plan for your life, a plan for good and not disaster, and His word will light the way. “Lead me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow.” Psalm 5:8. God has a plan for us, and He wants us to see the way.
Second, His word is a lamp to our feet. Psalm 119:165 tells us, “Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble.” You see, it’s not enough to just read the word, it’s not even enough to just memorize verses, we must love it and love its instructions. Psalm 1 tells us in verse 2 that those who are blessed, “delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.” And, it goes on to say in verse 6, “For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.” If we delight in His law and meditate on it day and night, our path will be clear, in fact, it says that the Lord will watch our paths. We all need to ask ourselves daily whether or not we delight in His word. It is easy to let the distractions of this life keep us from the word, but if we delight in the word of God, if we long for it, we won’t let our busy lives distract us from it.
So, when you find yourself in the dark, don’t just use a flashlight for your feet, or just a headlamp for your path, use both. And, when you find yourself in spiritual darkness, and we all find ourselves in that place occasionally, if you have been delighting in the word and meditating on it, when it seems like the walls are closing in and a cloud of darkness is over your head, you can reflect on those passages you have meditated on. Those passages that you have been delighting in will light your path and show you the way out.
Let God show you His path. “28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30. He never says that His path will be easy, but He will guide us, “For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and he will guide us until we die.” Psalm 48:14. He also promises us that, “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”