Let’s face it, life can be difficult and can throw us some low ballers or a curveball – something unexpected or deceptive that confuses, thwarts, or outwits us. Like a curveball in baseball which is difficult to hit or a low ball in rounders which is against the rules if below the knee, situations come at us, sometimes ‘out of the blue’ and it’s hard and it hurts.
On a global scale we have faced and are still facing the effects of Covid, nations are dealing with war and famine, communities are confronted by anti-social behaviour, violence, and crime and in our own homes we may also have to live with hostility, pain, and heartache for all kinds of reasons.
In the UK, like many countries, we are currently dealing with increased fuel costs, making travel to work, among other things, more expensive. And fear and worry grip our nation as we brace ourselves for the extortionate energy prices that are already bringing hardships to families and individuals that they cannot bear. These are dark times.
It seems fitting to relate our plight to the happenings in the Lord of the Rings. As Frodo, the Hobbit and his company prepare to move out of the safety of the Elves place to travel into the unknown, into the darkness, towards the enemy, Frodo and his companions are each given gifts to assist them on their journey.
And Frodo is given this beautiful, elegant, crystal small bottle or phial which shines brightly when commanded to do so. This vessel was filled with water from the elf-queen’s fountain which held the light of Earendil’s star. Pretty cool! Galadriel, the lead elf lady said this as she gave Frodo this small crystal bottle of powerful light:
“May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”
It’s like Galadriel knew Frodo would need it and he did. This powerful bottle emanating light was used on more than one occasion to save Frodo from the enemy and it was indeed a light in a dark place when Frodo was alone and helpless. All other lights had gone out, even his faithful friend Sam was no longer with him when Frodo took this small bottle, spoke the magical words and the powerful light emanated to save him until he put it away.
In real life, as a Christian, we have a light we can always rely on and a light we can count on in the dark times; He is the Light of World – Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. This light ‘shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it’ (John 1:5). How cool is that! As Psalm 23 says:
‘Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.’
Jesus is the Light in dark places and is there when other lights go out.