Daily Devotional: A Light in the Darkness

Encouragement and hope for times when your faith walk seems dark and God feels far away.

By Alma Barkman, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

As appeared in

God ... comforts the depressed. II Corinthians 7:6 (NAS)

Our city is known on the Canadian prairies for the extravagant Christmas lights people put up to decorate their homes and yards during the festive season. Contests are held for residences and businesses to see who can come up with the most attractive displays. Buses are available for those who want to view the winning entries without getting caught in traffic. Nor is all the attention restricted to the locals. Pilots often comment that they know they're over Winnipeg by the extra glow they can see on a clear night.

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Once the holidays are over, however, the lights go off one by one, and we enter the dark, forbidding month of January, when the sun sets around 4:30 pm and doesn't rise until nearly 8:00 am.

At our Bible study one January night, we had been discussing the dark spots we encounter in our faith walk. I had run into some myself. After experiencing the lighthearted joy of the Christmas season, I felt as if my soul had suddenly been plunged into heavy darkness. It was as if my spirit was a corridor and someone had walked down it and switched off hope, ambition, initiative and expectations.

Then I saw it. Perhaps someone had simply forgotten to unplug his outdoor Christmas tree, but there it was, shining like a faithful beacon. Remember, it seemed to say, that Christ has come. He is with you, guiding you, lighting your pathway.

Thank You, Jesus, that when courage fails, You provide that one spark that relights my enthusiasm.


Alma Barkman of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada writes with gentle humor from a Christian faith perspective. In addition to her daily devotional in Daily Guideposts, she has had more than 900 inspirational, humorous and how-to articles published in newspapers and Christian publications and is the author of several books, including: Light Reflections (devotional, Moody Publishers, 2002); Rise and Shine (gift book, Moody Publishers, 1987); and Peeking Through the Knothole - Scenes for the Soul  (nostalgia).

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Your Comments (2)

Once, kept my chritmas tree up till March. The tree with lights was such a joy to look at durning the winter months. Now, to me christmas is very day of the year. The Light of Christ within us. God Bless <3 MJ

I have a Christmas chime clock that plays a Christmas carol every hour. I took down the decorations a few days after Christmas. However, the night before I put the decorations away, the clock played "I wish you a merry Christmas, I wish you a merry Christmas, I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year." That was the last chime the clock played before it, and the decorations were put away. It was as if God was giving me this last Christmas message before the holiday season ended, and to continue on in the New Year also.