Several years ago, I was speaking to a group of women in the basement of a small-town Kansas church. A tornado touched down near the town and put out the electricity. Being suddenly plunged into complete darkness in an unfamiliar setting raised a wave of panic. Then someone lit a candle. Although a very small light, its presence brought a relief I remember well to this day.

We appreciate the light so much more when we’ve spent some time in darkness—physically, but also spiritually. Solomon had walked through a lot of darkness in his search for the purpose and meaning of life. He tried everything the world had to offer—physical pleasure, wisdom, wealth…—but nothing produced the light he was seeking. Because nothing of this earth can dispel spiritual darkness. But Someone can. That Someone is GOD. Our lives have meaning and purpose when we ground ourselves in His Light. Our life is a gift from God, the Creator, and every day is an opportunity to experience the beauty and wonder that surrounds us. But living life separately from God leaves us feeling empty in the midst of good and pleasant things. If we want that sweet light, we must set aside self-indulgence and live to please the One who created us and who loves us more than words can express. HE give us life and light.