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?
I woke up one morning a few weeks ago because light was shining from the living room down the short hallway into the bedroom of my apartment. I assumed that it was after 7:00 a.m. and the television had come on, as it is set to do to give me the morning headlines. But when I got up and came around the bed, I could see that the apartment door was ajar and the light came from the bare bulb on the wall outside my apartment.
It’s an odd feeling to discover, in the stillness of those early hours well before dawn, that your front door is open.
My apartment isn’t that big, so it wasn’t hard to check that no one had entered and everything was still here. But after the first quick glance and moving to close the door, I couldn’t help but turn on every light in my apartment. Light has a wonderful way of dispelling anxiety.
“The LORD is my light and my salvation,” writes the psalmist, “whom shall I fear?” We don’t have much trouble finding things of which to be afraid. (And if we haven’t encountered them for ourselves, the local news is happy to gin us up with the latest hysteria.) But there is something in the perfect light of God that scatters the shadows and works to keep fear from mastering us. The living voice of God carried to us by the Spirit through the Word gives light to our path and courage to go forward, to speak words that need speaking, to do deeds that need doing, to battle fears that need battling, to find the strength, hope, love, compassion generosity, wisdom or rest that we need.
“Perfect love casts out fear,” writes the author of 1 John – God’s perfect love.