The recent trip to visit our partner church in the Dominican Republic began with a long, hard day of travel. Departing Yuma at 2:30 a.m., we boarded an early flight out of Phoenix, then caught a late-afternoon hop from Miami. The trip was an emotional one; we were there because our friends were grappling with a church crisis. Upon arrival in Santiago, we discovered that one of our suitcases didn't arrive...mine. Though I felt immediate peace -- we KNEW that this trip was in God's hands -- reporting the missing bag (we discovered it was still in Miami) took a while, further delaying our journey.
Outside the Santiago airport, we met our ground transportation who would take us over the mountain into Puerto Plata. By the time we arrived, it was midnight. One vehicle got there a little early and stopped to pick up pizza for a (very) late-night supper. We ate quickly and got a go-cart ride from a porter to take our jet-lagged bodies to our rooms.
The complex where we often stay in Puerto Plata is very large and includes a number of hotels. We had never stayed in this particular one so I payed close attention to the path we drove to the building where our rooms were located. We made our way up the stairs to the third floor and crashed into bed, trying to get rested for what promised to be a long day ahead.
I awoke as the light of day began to flood my room, but immediately my brain did a double-take. "How did I get so turned around?" I wondered. Based on my often-accurate sense of direction the sun was rising...in the West! Yikes!
A little while later, I realized that my directions were right until we hit the top of the stairs on the third floor. The way the stairs emptied out onto the floor, my brain did a 180 and make me think my room was on the west side of the building instead of the east. Oh, what a little illumination can clear up!
I tell this story because I have known many people who try to read the Bible without illumination. They remind me of the Ethiopian official in Acts 8. "Who is this writer talking about?" he asked Philip. "What does this mean?" If you feel like you're trying to read the Bible in the dark, maybe you need the Son to come up in your heart. He is the one who opens the door of illumination.
This weekend at Stone Ridge Church, we will see how Jesus both illuminates Scripture AND uses Scripture to turn the lights on in our lives. Don't miss it! Can't be there? Catch the podcast!