(I kid you not, This is my pic.   I had parked right here 2 weeks previous.)

Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii has been erupting continuously since 1983,  delighting people from around the world.  The very best time to view the lava is in the evening.  Not only is it the best because the lava is more visible against the black canvas of night, but because at 5 pm the park workers give you a brief instruction of how to stay safe and then head home.  Obviously upon their departure everyone gets as close to the lava as they dare.   The mesmerizing flows of liquid lava can provide hours of entertainment as it oozes its liquid fire down the mountain.  But after several hours it becomes time to head back to where you parked.  This is where the hard part begins.
On rare occasions the lava is close to the former highway that it continues to devour, but more often than not to get to the flow you have to walk several miles over some of the more treacherous terrain on earth—dried lava.   Huge mounds of this black, asphalt looking substance are broken up into massive chunks,  jutting out in all sorts of directions.  This requires going up one slab, down another, jumping across a gap and keeping this up for several hours.  It is a breeding ground for sprained ankles, skinned knees and broken legs.  The journey is slow and difficult and this is during the day.  At night it is an arduous task.  Ten years ago the path was not marked so on this massive expanse of lava you just had to guess your way back to where you had parked.
Danger is a bit inherent with the landscape.    One such danger is that when the dry lava goes into the ocean it cools and dries solid adhering to the land.  What is not seen is that while this area looks like land, there’s nothing underneath it to support it.  They call it a “shelf.”  After it builds up from continuous lava drying on top of it, whole massive amounts of land can spontaneously break off into the ocean.  No one has yet survived a shelf break.  While the sound of the ocean beating against the lava cliff is appealing, it is not advisable to get too close and be in range of a collapse.
So there I was in the middle of the lava flow heading back over several miles of terrain.  It was one of the first times my friend and I had been to the flow so we had hiked out during the day, but now it was very late at night and time to head back.  My friend had not brought their flashlight but I thought this would be no problem.  I had a small flashlight that was typically bright and we could just use that.  Little did I know that the batteries were on their last leg giving out only the dimmest of beams.  It was not a good situation.  Because of the late hour of the night there were not many others on the path.   There were no markers to illuminate the way and no cell phone service within miles to call a friend, just inky black darkness with only a faint whisper of light.
Slowly and meticulously we made our way not even sure which direction we were heading.   Our eyes strained as we picked our way over the difficult surroundings.  At one point we began to hear waves slamming against the lava cliffs.  This was not a good sign.  Not only because this meant we were wandering to the edge of a cliff, but because it also meant we were wandering close to the top of a potential lava shelf.  We backed up and headed parallel to the sound of the ocean.  After several hours we finally we made it back to where we had parked.   What a relief!  We had made it back safely
What I learned that night is that light is a beautiful thing, be it a flashlight or moonlight.  When it is dark we do not have good understanding of what is going on, what is the safe way for us to walk in and how to get where we need to go.  Without it we can be in great danger.
Jesus said that He is the light of the world.  Scripture teaches us that the full understanding of His light is found in His law:  “Your word,” the psalmist declares  “is a lamp to my feet and light for my path” (Ps 119:105).   His Word is our flashlight in the night when we travel over through difficult terrain.
As Jesus draws ever nearer to his return, the dark will get darker and that which was once visible will become even more difficult to see.   We already are seeing this in our world.  More than ever before it is becoming apparent that we need to be prepared with with lights that are brightly lit in order to move forward.  This isn’t just true for the things that are going on around us but even in our own walk with Jesus.  There are many times even as we journey with Him that we may not fully understand what is going on.
The psalmist himself was passing through difficult trials when he spoke about the Word being a lamp to his feet and a light to his lamp.  In that same context he says “I have suffered much.”  Whatever was going on he reports that “I constantly take my life in my hands.” Furthermore “the wicked have set a snare for me” (Ps 119:107, 109, 110).   These were not times of trouble-free living but rather quite the opposite.  For this reason the psalmist clung all that much more to the light—the very Word of the Lord.
“I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous
laws” (v. 106)

“I will not forget your law” (v. 109)
“Your statues are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.  My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end” (v. 110-112).
The psalmist says resolutely that he will follow his righteous laws, that he will not forget and that his heart is set on keeping the decrees of the Lord to the very end.  This is the attitude of the psalmist during these difficult trials of suffering where perhaps he doesn’t see as clearly.  But he trusts the light of the law to show him the way to walk.
Scripture instructs us to “let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly.”  This can only happen through intentionality, by the meditating on and the obeying of His Word.  This keeps our light brightly lit.   Memorization is one of the ways we can secure that Word in our hearts and mind.  It helps keep the lamp oil replenished and our batteries charged.
The night we were hiking on Kilauea lava flow my flashlight was barely shining a beam.   I can tell you from this experience that a dim light while better than nothing at all does not offer a lot of help.   For me as the darkness gets darker in our world, I want the light of His Word to burn in my heart ever more brightly.   Light was made for the darkness and a dim light just won’t do.  It just isn’t sufficient to clearly show us the way to walk.   This is the lesson I learned that black night on Kilauea lava flow, a lesson I hope I will never forget.  A mere 14 days after our excursion this point was made all the more clear.  Near the ocean cliff where we had accidentally wandered there was a shelf collapse–22 acres of land abruptly broke off and plunged violently into the ocean’s abyss, never to be seen again.