79 to shine on those living in darkness
    and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

Luke 1:79 (NIV)
Zachariah  finishes his prophecy by saying that John the Baptist would "shine on those living in darkness" and "guide out feet into the path of peace." Wow, that seems tame, joyful, and tranquil for the man who called the Pharisees and Sadducees a "brood of vipers" (Mathew 3:7), the man from the wilderness who ate wild honey and locusts, and the man who was always telling people to repent. His message of repentance was a light to guide our feet on the path of peace. Now, light can hurt, and the road to peace can be littered with hardship, but it is worth the journey.

Have you ever had someone turn on a bright light after you had been sleeping in a dark room? Did it startle you? After your eyes get adjusted, it is nice to have the light, but sometimes if it comes too fast it can be uncomfortable. John the Baptist may have seemed rough to some people. His message was simply, "Repent!" That is a hard message to hear when we have been in the darkness of sin for a long time, but once we see the light of the truth we are glad we did repent.

Repenting puts us on the path of peace. This path may not seem easy every step of the way. We may lose friends and give up activities we have always loved. The hardest part may be seeing where we are at when we step onto the path. We begin to see how wrong we are and how many we have hurt. Knowing where we are at can hurt us, but can also give us the desire to make the tough choices that keep us on the path to peace. Though we have to give things up, we know we cannot stay in our miserable state. We know there must be something better. When the devil attacks us on our journey, we can remember where we were and decide never to go back there. We can look toward the Jesus and remember we are striving to be like Him. Though the journey is rough in places, God has great rewards for us, including the peace that passes all understanding.

When God lights our paths with truth, let's pursue the path of peace. The light may bother us at first and the path may appear difficult, but it is the path that leads to God's rewards and God's peace. It is the path I want to be traveling.

Tomorrow's reading is Luke 1:80.


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