17 Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
When I was younger my family used to have a stationary caravan down in Swanage, Dorset. Situated less than a ten minute walk to the beach, it was a constant source of joy summer after summer. It also became a place of still and quiet when you needed to get away, a place of refuge. It was one of those times when we had just lost my Gran, one of the inspirational people in my story of faith. It was a tough time for family, a tough time for me and so I decided to take my guitar and keys down to the caravan to grab some space.
One morning I decided to get up really early and sit and watch the sunrise on the beach. As the sun rose, the whole bay was kissed in this incredible array of deep oranges and reds, reflecting off the cliffs like a mirror. It was as I sat and watched those colours that those words “You are the light, that lights my way” were imprinted on my heart. Here, in the midst of chaos internally I was reminded of the stillness and power of God.
The song captured this intertwining moment of despair and hope. A deep cry of the heart that despite the wind and waves I will fix my eyes on God, I will praise him through the storm.
But it is a deep and honest cry.
For it is easy to say praise and trust God when the storm comes, far more difficult to actually do it. That’s the story of this song, not a bold statement of overcoming fear, but a wrestle with the soul to fix its eyes on God and to dare to hope. It echoes the same battle that Peter had when he walked on water in Matthew 14. It’s all too easy to only see the wind and waves surrounding us and forget the presence of God altogether – or at least I do. Throughout that particular storm, this song gave a voice to the tired and weary, yet hopeful heart.
Over the years I have returned to this song in my deepest and darkest moments as a prayer, an anthem to try and arrest the decline of my heart and to look upward at God, not the waves. It’s always reminded me of the hope I have in God and I hope too, if you find yourself in the ‘storms’ that life throws at us, that it might encourage and comfort you. It has meant a great deal to me. For God is the light that lights our way and the rock that stands strong when all else fails. I’ve lived through too many storms to know any different.
You are the Light
When the waves of life come crashing in
When all my world comes caving in
When fear surrounds, Lord still I’ll praise
For I know my God you reign
For you are the Light that lights my way
You are the hope in me
When all my world is washed away
You are the rock that remains
And I will praise You Lord,
praise You through this storm again
I will praise You Lord
When I walk through my darkest days
When all the light seems to fade away
When all my fear has reached its peak
I’ll come to you, the God of Peace
Through all sorrow, all fear
You are my hope Lord draw me near
In every circumstance you reign
You are my God, You’ve always been