I’m not sure I know anyone who doesn’t love a lighthouse. I’m not sure what it is about these stately structures that draw us in, but I am no different. When we recently took a trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina, I made a list of lighthouses we had not yet seen there and made it my mission to see at least one.
Although the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is probably the most iconic of this area (and has its own unique history), we had seen it many times before. But this year, on a trip north of our beach house, we decided to detour to the see the Bodie Island Lighthouse.
According to the National Park Service website, the Bodie Island Light Station that stands today is the THIRD lighthouse erected for that part of the banks. The first was erected by a man who had no lighthouse experience and it fell over. The second was a casualty of the Civil War. “Fearing that the 80-foot tower would be used by Union forces, retreating Confederate troops blew it up in 1861.”
Finally, in 1871 and in a different location than the other two lighthouses, the Bodie Island Lighthouse was started in its current location. (You can read more about this awesome lighthouse here.)
We could not have picked a more perfect day to see this impressive structure. The sky was as blue as I’ve ever seen it. And set against this backdrop was the most perfect structure any person with the need for symmetry could hope for.
Are you as in love with those perfectly segmented white and black sections as I am?
I was so in awe of this place. Not only is the lighthouse painted in a beautiful symmetry that was a feast for my eyes, but there is also a long wooden pathway where you can walk out into the marsh and view the lighthouse from a different angle. I simply loved everything about this place.
After I returned home, I even had one of my pics printed on canvas to hang on my wall as a reminder of this perfect place. As I’ve looked at it over the last few weeks, with the Bible verse I have printed above it, I began to understand why I love the awesome structure so much.
Quite simply, it reminds me of God’s perfect strength.
These verses came to my mind as I look at this lighthouse:
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” (Psalm 46:1-3)
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?”(Psalm 27:1)
But this final one, printed right above the pic on my wall, could be talking about this lighthouse.
“God is within her, she will not fall.” (Psalm 46:5)
(Don’t you love that the pic I chose is also perfect in its symmetry?)
There is strength there within those fortified walls as there is strength within me, thanks to God. The architect of me, my creator, knew I would need to stand up to many wars and weather many storms. So he offered his Son for me and when I accepted that fact and called upon God to forgive my sins and come into my life, my core was strengthened. Just like the Bodie Island Lighthouse which, when built with the proper tools and materials, I can withstand any hardship that comes my way.
When I face difficulties now, I will not fall because of this core strength. When I feel defeated, I can still stand tall. When I long to just hide away from the world, I can do so, for a season, knowing my God will hold me upright.
And when I’m ready, I can stand tall once more and let others see the light shining from me, drawing others to him.