When I was a little girl, we did most of our traveling at night when it was cooler. Cars didn’t have air-conditioning back then. There weren’t as many arguments in the backseat at night as there were in the heat of the day. My parents shared the front seat with my little brother and sister, and I was crammed in the back seat with two brothers and my older sister. We would lie all over each other with our enormous German shepherd, Rowdy, hanging his dripping tongue over the seat in the back of the station wagon.
I was usually the last one to drift off. I would wait until the others were asleep and ask my dad questions until I fell asleep. Eventually, I learned the difference between truck lights and car lights. At one point, I knew the brand of car coming toward us by its headlights and when a train was coming.
I could see the trains far away, and it thrilled me to tell dad about the trains with such accuracy. I asked him why the train light was so much brighter than the car and truck lights around us. He said trains were so much more powerful than the smaller vehicles that they needed more light to travel safely.
One day, while I was traveling with my dad, I realized that during the day, we couldn’t see the trains as far off as we had been able to at night. It seemed that their lights weren’t shining as bright. I could hardly tell the train had lights on at all. I saw the train long before I saw the light. Daddy explained that in the daytime, there was no darkness to make it shine.
As Christians, we can be doing well with blessings flowing into our lives from everywhere. Then the bottom falls out, and nothing seems to go right. The difference is like day and night. The Lord said it rains on the just and the unjust. He asked us if the world came against him, why would we expect it to be different for those who loved Him? His Word is a light that shines in front of us in the world of darkness. He said it was “a lamp to my [our] feet, and a light to my [our] path” (Psalms 119-105).
Today’s Christians can be like that train that still has its light on during the day, and shine bright at night. When we hide God’s word in our hearts, his light shines through us in every circumstance. When things are going well, the Word, living in us shines. It goes before us, revealing the tracks God has laid out for our lives, and shines brightly for others who need it. Though, it may not appear as bright as it does in the dark.
When darkness presses in on us, making us feel like we may stumble and fall, we have God’s Word to point out the road ahead and steer us the way we should go. Unlike the world, when we know God is with us and His Word is buried in our hearts, we can keep our eyes on our journey.
Lost people everywhere are searching for something that shines bright and stands out in the darkness. When we’re moving on with the love, joy, and peace of God shining brightly through us, we can be a beacon of hope. Like that train, we will be visible for a considerable distance ahead. The darker our world, the brighter our light shines.
My husband compares God’s Word to the stripes in the center of the highway on one of our dark, soupy, foggy Houston mornings. Sometimes the fog is so thick we can’t see the taillights on the car in front of us until we’re right upon it, and it’s hard to be sure that we’re in our lane. By keeping our eyes on the white stripes and carefully watching the poor visibility offered by our headlights, we can arrive safely at our destination.
When we rely on God’s Word in this dark, soupy foggy world we live in, we have the same assurance that we will arrive safely at the goal God has planned for our lives.
Dr. Sharon Schuetz has served as a copastor of the Sebastopol Community Church since February 2018. She and her late husband, Michael, have served as pastors in seven churches since 1988, most of them in the Pentecostal Church of God, Joplin, MO.
The Schuetz family has ministered to couples through counseling, ministry, women, and marriage retreats. She served as the District Youth President over the state of New Mexico, where she traveled two weeks each month preaching youth rallies. She organized youth camps, retreats, etc., during her tenure.
Dr. Schuetz graduated from Cornerstone University, Lake Charles, LA. After completing her Ph.D. in Clinical Christian Counseling in 1998, Cornerstone hired Dr. Schuetz as the university's Administrative Director. In 1998, the Schuetzs moved to Lake Charles, where they lived on campus, taught classes, traveled to satellite campuses to hold graduation ceremonies, etc.
They were married for 45 ½ years, with three children and ten grandchildren. Dr. Schuetz stepped into the pulpit as Senior Pastor when Michael went home to the Lord in December 2021. In over 35 years in ministry, they hoped to reveal God's love to all. Dr. Schuetz loves to break God's Word into understandable principles and teach people how to apply those principles to their own lives.