Dispelling the Darkness

April 1, 2009 by Paul Chappell


I remember as a young boy working many summers on our family farm in Colorado. I enjoyed working, driving the tractors, and hoeing the bean field.  But what I really loved was dinnertime at grandmother’s house! We would sit down and have a meal of roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, pinto beans, and cornbread—it was good! The best part of the meal was at the end when grandmother would say, “You know, I have some vanilla ice cream here, but it’s just not really good unless we get some raspberries from the fruit cellar to put on top!”

Now, these weren’t just any raspberries.  These were handpicked by my grandmother, placed in a Mason jar, sealed just right, and set on a shelf in her cellar. At the end of a meal like the one I just described, she would often look at me and say, “Paul, why don’t you go get some raspberries.” To which I always replied, “Yes, ma’am!” I would hurriedly run to the cellar, down the first flight of stairs, then the second flight of stairs and into the basement area.

When I got to the basement, however, my excitement began to fade momentarily. The cellar ahead was a scary space by itself. There was a moose head on one side of the basement and an elk head on another side. As a young boy, I thought those animal eyes followed me everywhere I went! I would sneak past the moose and the elk and put my hand on the cellar door to open it. Just about that time is when I would remember that all the ghosts and goblins in Colorado lived in that cellar.

There was a painfully obvious problem with the cellar—there wasn’t a light switch. The engineer who designed that particular room designed it in such a way that you had to take five steps into the room to pull a string hanging from the ceiling in order to turn on the light. Those were the five scariest steps I had to take in my life! (A few times, I walked in and the string hit me right in the face—I thought for sure I was a goner.)  I would creep in the cellar and pull that string as quickly as possible. The light would come on, and the fears I had were suddenly gone. I would then grab a bunch of those raspberry jars and run upstairs to enjoy a wonderful dessert.

Just as I needed the light to dispel my fears, this dark world needs the light of the Lord Jesus Christ to dispel its fear, worry, and challenges.

As Christians, we are not the source of the light, we are merely the lighthouses. The light that shines through us is the Lord.  John 8:12 puts it this way, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Jesus is the source of the light, but we are to let that line shine, so others can see Christ through us.

As we go about our Christian lives this week, let us not forget to be lighthouses through which the world can see the Lord. Dispel the darkness of the world around you with a shining testimony for Christ!


1 Comment »

  1. I have always enjoyed hearing of your childhood memories as they remind me of my younger years and the wonderful memories I can recall of my time with my grandparents. Thank you for sharing these memories that are so close and dear to your heart. They are encouraging.

    Comment by Bro Johnny Johnson — April 1, 2009 @ 9:30 pm

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