They were stunning works of art molded by God’s own hands to serve and glorify him. They walked along a path that was like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day (Prov 4:18). Yet dark shadows surrounded this path. On one side rocky cliffs soared upwards, and a steep ravine dropped off on the other side.
They walked without fear of the darkness that surrounded them, because God in his righteousness was going before them dispelling the darkness, and the glory of the Lord was their rear guard.
There were trails leading off into the darkness. When they paused by these trails they could hear voices seductively whispering “come and explore, come back”. Turning from these seductive voices they drank deeply from the springs of living water along the path – God’s fountain of grace and love.
They walked along the path carrying flickering lanterns. When one of their lanterns seemed like it was about to flicker out… somebody would lean over and pour out tender-hearted words of encouragement. At that moment a sweet smelling-aroma would waft around them and the flickering lamp would burn brightly having been refilled with the oil of grace.
At times someone would stumble and fall under the weight of a heavy burden. Immediately one of the stronger members would stoop down to carry the heavy burden. Another would patiently bind up the wounds of the one who fell and sacrificially care for him or her until together they were walking with a spring in their step and holding their lamps up high.
People came stumbling out of the shadows toward their light – a beacon of hope for weary travelers seeking rest, and a searchlight calling lost people out of darkness. With great joy they would welcome them in their midst and invite them to journey with them to their destination – a place of righteousness, holiness and truth.
Sometimes they came upon someone battered and bruised lying at the side of the pathway. Without fail, somebody in their group would gently nurse the wounded person to health. Sometime this person would join them carrying a blazing lantern, and at other times the person would slink back into the shadows. This didn’t matter.
Along the way you would hear them singing together and expressing thanksgiving to God their Father for all their blessings.