The other afternoon I went on a hike at the Land Trust of Alabama. I took a solo trip in order to have some time of reflection, do some praying and hopefully, hear from God.

I had to do the difficult portion of a rocky hike and get to the top-turn around and come back-before I started having realizations. It wasn’t until after I’d ask God to speak to me AND after I placed my phone away and took away all the distractions.. First, I was told to ‘stand in the light’, so I looked around, “no seriously, go stand in the light”. This was not an audible voice, more like an annoying nagging sensation that doesn’t go away until I follow through with obedience. I looked over and there was a ray of sunlight breaking through the trees, it was shining on the ground so that’s where I went to stand… in that Ray of sunlight. And in that Ray of sunlight, I felt God say, “thank you for being obedient even though you had to go off your trail and through some briars to stand in my light”.

Once I was standing in that piece of sunlight, I looked down and I found this whole bottle and it was an opaque earth color but I realized that it was like a filter and we can choose to reflect or filter that light, we can choose to block that light, or we can choose not to go stand in the light at all. What are you going to choose?

As I continued on my path, the next thing I saw was this big black rock and I picked it up because it struck me as being unique and pretty. I wanted to take a little piece so I tried to break it off by hitting it against a larger rock and I. was unsuccessful with getting a size that I wanted I just kept getting little shards but they were sharp and they were darker and darker towards the center. Each time I hit rock against the rock it made a burning smell. Sometimes in life when we are being broken down and refined it is painful or may feel like we are burning inside. God may allow us to be broken down to reveal what’s in our dark heart.

As I continued walking along, I saw a deer so I stopped and the deer stopped and looked at me and then flipped its tail up. It was a whitetail deer so it had a white tail and when it looked it up and it pranced away, I thought okay well that’s cool just saw this black rock and now I’m seeing a whitetail, what does this mean? There is power in white and black or light and dark.

Stand in the light and you go from dirty to clean, dark to light, is this what the Lord’s trying to say to me?

Anyways, I got to follow that deer for about five or six minutes — she was watching me — I was watching her and she made a couple of grunts of disapproval because she knew I was there. The purpose of the deer’s white tail is to warn their family. They flip the tail up and it notifies her family. It’s different than the rest of the green leaves or brown leaves if it’s winter time so it stands out. Flashing that white tail is a way to warn her family, it says something’s not right, I’m going in this direction.

The more I thought about that series of events the more I realized that’s how we should be if we’re called to stand in the light — we need to go stand in the light whether it’s off the trail and you have to go through a couple of briars to get there or not. Stand in the light — Jesus is going to take your dark heart, he cleans it and he makes it white again.

But the story can’t stop there, so we need to take the clean that’s in our heart the new fresh spirit — our white tail — that we have and we need to show it to our brothers and sisters — our family — as a warning for them or as an indicator that, “hey, this is the direction that were traveling in now.” Follow me.

So, stand in the light, shine in your own way, let Jesus transform you through your obedience to him, and then use your transformation in your new passion to share with others.