By B.J. Funk-
Motel Six television commercials are known for their “We keep the light on” advertisements. These words might not mean much to some, but they send a comforting beacon to many for whom the light has been turned off. Weary travelers find hope when they reach a place of safety and rest.
The same is true for heartbroken or rejected people. For those who have ever had a door slammed in their faces, or a rejection that feels like hard fists in the stomach, the encouragement of finding a place that actually keeps the light on is an oasis of hope, a contrast to their desert of darkness. Just as Motel Six reaches out for weary travelers, weary lives find hope when they reach a place of safety and rest.
Already today, you have probably passed by someone in the grocery store or at work who longs for a light to be left on for them. You likely did not notice, for many searchers of light are masters at covering up their need. They mix their hurts with an addiction to numb the pain, taking on excessive swallows of poison as they grow deeper into their belief that they don’t really matter to anyone else. Why, then, should they matter to you?
Or, perhaps it is the opposite. They laugh a little too loudly, tell a few more jokes than anyone else, and maybe, if you look deeply enough, they never allow you to really get into their lives. We only see portions of them, the sunny side of them, the “I’ve got life, and I’m great” side of them. One gets the feeling that honesty has never rested its head on their heart, as they cake on layer after layer of “Everything is okay! Really, it is.”
Then, on a night when no one expects, a crash comes through their cover-up plans, and a raw pain that hurts deeper than they ever imagined comes forth. Pretense falls, and truth walks in. It is not fun. It’s not fun to realize that all your hidden secrets are hidden no more, that now your family and friends will see the dark side of you. It is more than you can bear. You want to climb in a closet, and shut out the world.
Except for one giant, marvelous word, you might. One word that dares to break the closet door open and pull you out. A soothing, yet forceful word that is claimed by the one who made it, the one who is the very same, the one who is over and above all others. God is that one, and the healing word is Mercy.
Mercy takes the same hammer that nailed Jesus to the cross and yanks out the nails that hold you captive inside the closet. God paid too much for you to live in an embryonic state of mind inside of mold, dark, and nothingness. Mercy claims you, holds you, enfolds you, and calls you His own.
Come out from hiding. Your life is not over yet. Mercy will always keep the light on for you. Mercy kept the light on for one of our heroes in the Bible. King David was at one time surrounded by as many as ten thousand enemy soldiers. He was running for his life from his rebellious son, Absalom, and a host of traitors. David could have trusted his army to defeat his enemies, but instead he trusted in the mercy of God. He wrote in Psalm 3: “But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the Lord I cry aloud, and He answers me from his holy hill. I lie down and sleep. I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.”
Mercy kept the light on for David. Even when his enemies sat in the dark shadows of evil plots against him, David trusted God for mercy.
Whatever you are facing today, wherever you went wrong yesterday, however your fear blocks tomorrow, look for the sign that assures you that mercy blinks a welcome light for you. Then, settle peacefully into this moment, and allow the Light of Jesus to do what it always does. Receive peace as you rest in this place of safety and hope.
Discouraged? Hopeless? Mercy will always keep the light on for you.