The scent of sun-warmed pine and salt air streamed past me as I coasted on my bicycle down the winding hill to one of my favourite summer destinations. My friend and I planned to spend the day roaming around Fort Rodd Hill, an old coastal artillery fortress and Canadian national historic site near Victoria, BC. It was a child’s paradise, with tame deer feeding on its extensive grounds, underground tunnels, cement barracks, and guard towers to explore and pretend in. When it came time to eat our picnic lunch, we always headed down the sand spit to Fisgard Lighthouse.
The red brick house and tall white tower were built in 1860 by the British, before Vancouver Island was part of Canada. Fisgard was the first lighthouse built on the Canadian west coast, and still lights the entrance to Esquimalt Harbour, home of the Royal Canadian Navy base.
As a child, these dry facts meant little, but what did capture me was the romantic idea of living in a lighthouse. I could picture myself as the heroic lighthouse keeper climbing the spiral iron staircase to tend the lights on a stormy night, sending the bright beams flashing through the dark to guide a sea-tossed ship home to safe harbour. I imagined I heard the mournful two-note dirge of the foghorn as diaphanous fog smothered sea and shore in gray mist. The lighthouse was a beacon, offering rescue and safety to those in danger, and I was drawn to the high calling it represented.
A decade later, the storms of life were battering me so hard I almost foundered, but for the lighthouse of Jesus shining through the darkness. He shone the bright beam of His love over the wind-whipped waves of my difficult marriage, a sinking sense of identity and the daily struggle of raising three small children. His light illuminated the truth of who He is, the Son of God sent to rescue the perishing. How I needed rescuing!
In a storm there is much confusion. Forces stronger than yourself push and batter until any sense of direction is lost. It is hard to see and harder still to hold on. Fear and fatigue tempt you to slip beneath the waves. But then a light flashes out of the tumultuous darkness. The storm still rages but now there is hope in that strong beam of light, beckoning you to safety. The source of the light is a place of refuge and strength, of peace and security.
That is Jesus Christ to me. He is my lighthouse. He said in His Word, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12 NIV) And I can respond with all certainty, “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?” (Ps. 27:1)
His is a light that will never be extinguished, able to pierce through the darkness of sin and offer the stronghold of His love and forgiveness to everyone lost. “You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light.” (2 Sam. 22:29)
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