Tell a Friend  

About the Writer:

Nancy chooses to look at life as opportunities to know more about God's people and desires to pass on His unfailing love to those around her. As a young widow with growing children, Nancy's life experiences are a blend of hope through hard times and faith that has moved mountains in her life. Her writings are effective storytelling with humor, biblical insight and deep compassion.


Shingles in the Darkness

By Nancy Hughes

Key Verse:  “I have come as a light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me would not remain in darkness.” John 12:46 (NIV)


It was a night of firsts: my first bad storm by myself. My first time to deal with high winds, then no electricity. My first time to not have my always calm, strong husband check out the storm for me. The love of my life for over 35 years had passed away unexpectedly just three and ½ months earlier. I was by myself, in the dark, searching frantically for a flashlight, wondering where in the world I had put my matches. And feeling very very much alone.

Digging through a catchall drawer finally yielded a small flashlight which in turn lit up the shelf where matches were tossed. Three lit candles flickered on a bookcase and managed to ever so slightly chase the darkness back into the corners of the living room. But nothing could disguise the thump on the roof of loose shingles. Shingles that, every few minutes, flew through the night like wounded birds, landing against a window or on the front lawn. A call to the electric company resulted in a “We’re aware of the outage, Mrs. Hughes, and we will send someone to check it out.” But that statement did nothing to warm the house or calm my nerves.

My thoughts switched from my situation of sitting in the darkness all alone to friends and family who are in a spiritual darkness. How frightening that must be! No security, no peace in the storm when everyday problems come. What protection is there against the shingles of life that break loose and threaten to land against our straw houses built on sand? A shingle might include: losing a husband, a career failure, a child who leaves and never looks back, the realization that one’s life dream will never be fulfilled. Shingles that seem to multiply and fly around in the spiritual darkness until they threaten to take complete control mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

As I sat curled up beneath two afghans on my sofa with only candles and a small flashlight, I called on the One who is in control of all things. Storms are nothing new to my Savior. After all, He calmed waters that seemed out of control to some fishermen in a boat. I closed my eyes and bowed my head. My prayer was for safety and protection for me in this situation, but something else occurred as I lifted up my concerns. With my eyes shut and my focus on Jesus, it no longer became important that the lights were not on in my house. My focus was on the true Light in my life: my Lord Jesus Christ. And my prayer changed from one of protection for me to one of petition on behalf of those I love who do not know Jesus. The darkness in my home was only temporary. But living in a world without the Light of the universe in my life and the lives of my loved ones will result in eternal darkness.

My Prayer for Today:

Father, thank you for sending your Light to a world in darkness. Help me to always focus on that Light and not on the situation around me. Please give me the courage and wisdom to share your Son with friends and family who desperately need a Light-changing experience in their lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Application Steps:

Make a list of those “shingles” that threaten to take control in your life.

Using note cards write down Scripture encouragements for each “shingle” and place them in a drawer, in the pocket of your favorite jeans, in the medicine cabinet, in the freezer, etc.

Reflection Points:

What do you focus on first when one of life’s “shingles” flies into your path?

Is there a prayer warrior in your life who would help you memorize Scripture to help you stand firm against satan’s darkness?

Begin each morning by handing over to the Lord all the “shingles” that may come your way during the day.

Can you set aside 15 minutes each day to pray specifically for friends and family members who need the Lord?

Power Verses:

Psalm 18:28, “You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” (NIV)

Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” (NIV)

I Peter 2:9, “For you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (NIV)

Copyright © February 23, 2006 – Nancy Hughes. All rights reserved.


Back to Articles Main Page : : : : Back to Articles Sorted By Writer : : : : Back to Articles Sorted by Title

Copyright © 2009 - Next-Step-of Faith and its Content Providers. All Rights Reserved.
Website Design by Next-Step-Up Communications