I will lead the blind by a road they do not know, by paths they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I will do, and I will not forsake them.
Astronaut Jim Lovell, in his book Apollo 13, tells the harrowing tale of being lost in the dark. It happened in 1950 as Lovell was flying a night exercise mission from the aircraft carrier USS Shangri- La in his F2H Banshee. It was Lovell’s first night training mission when night flying from a carrier was in its infancy. Storm clouds erased any light from the moon or stars. Calamity hit as Lovell missed his critical rendezvous with his mission’s two other planes. His plane’s instruments mistakenly picked up signals from the Japanese mainland leading him away from his carrier group.
As Lovell tried to use his map light to read directions, everything went completely black. All of the electronics in his cockpit short-circuited. Every bulb on his control panel went dark. Lovell was hopelessly lost flying in circles over the rough, choppy Sea of Japan. Engulfed by total darkness, he lost any sense of up from down as well as any sense of night sky from sea.
Then in the darkness Lovell saw a light. Lovell describes it as “a faint greenish glow forming a shimmery trail in black water.” As a navy pilot Lovell immediately recognized what he saw. It was the trail of phosphorescent algae churned up by his ship’s propellers. Through the threatening darkness Lovell followed the “strange radiance” safely back to his carrier.
I read Lovell’s story and think of God’s promise to us in today’s Scripture. The prophet Isaiah tells of a time in the history of Israel when God’s people were lost in darkness. They are far from home, hopeless and confused in the Babylonian Exile. Isaiah describes them as “blind”, unable to see any way out, unable to see any way home. Then Isaiah points the blind and lost people to the sure promises of God: “I will lead the blind by a road they do not know, by paths they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light.
There are times when we are in darkness, have lost our way, and don’t know the way home. But God’s promise to us is to light our darkness. Just as He promised the ancient Hebrews so He promises us.
I like to meditate on this wondrous passage from Isaiah and cling to God’s promise to see us through. I especially like to meditate on this passage as found in the modern translation The Message. I invite you to take a few moments to meditate on it, cling to it, and believe God’s promise to us.
“But I’ll take the hand of those who don’t know the way,
? who can’t see where they’re going.
?I’ll be a personal guide to them,
? directing them through unknown country.
?I’ll be right there to show them what roads to take,
? make sure they don’t fall into the ditch.
?These are the things I’ll be doing for them—
? sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute.”
Follow the Light!
Grace and peace,