Have you ever been in the dark before?  I don’t mean in a room with the lights off, I mean complete and total darkness.  Several years ago I was in Ghana on a short term mission trip ministering to orphans in Obuasi.  We stayed in the orphanage guest house, which was walking distance from the orphanage.  We arrived late in the afternoon and unloaded our supplies before sitting down to dinner with our host family.  As the sun made its descent, we gathered around the dinner table to share a meal and to get to know one another.  Following dinner, we all stood to carry out dishes into the kitchen when everything went pitch black.  I’ve never experienced dark like that before.  I couldn’t see anything, even my own hand in front of my face.  We all froze.  We didn’t know the floor plan of the house to find our way around and we all had our hands full of dishes.  Fortunately, our host found his way to his room and returned with a flashlight declaring, “You always need to know where your torch is and keep it with you when you’re in Ghana.” Once he came into the room, we were all able to find our way around to deposit our dishes and gather to our own flashlights.
Isaiah 60:1-2 says, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and His glory appears over you.”  All you have to do is pick up a local newspaper to know we live in a dark and hurting world.  People are frozen at times by the darkness, unable to know which way to go or what to do.  Some feel helpless, almost blind.  While we may be in the world, we do not live in darkness.  Jesus tells us in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” He has called us to be carriers of hope and light into a dark world [Matthew 5:14]. As my host in Ghana said, “You always need to know where your torch is and keep it with you.”  Jesus is our Torch and He will light our way so we can find our way out of darkness, but we must keep Him close to us.
Many of you know my passion for the fight against human sex trafficking.  There is a fabulous organization in the Metro Atlanta area that helps young girls find their way out of the darkness of the sex trade.  It is called Out of Darkness.  They are always looking for men and women who are willing to give of their time to help these precious girls find their way.  To learn more about this amazing ministry, please go to www.outofdarkness.organd see how you can let your light shine in a truly dark place in our world.