Green Light

Have you ever heard the phrase “green light on the tipple?” I hadn’t until yesterday. I was reading through some history of the area I live in and this phrase the title of the piece.


I live in an area that is called tri-towns or the carbon valley. It is made up of three smaller communities that built up about the same time. And these communities were built around coal mines.


tippleFor each mine, there was a tipple. This is the structure that is used to move the extracted product from the mine to the railroad cars. On top of the tipple were two lights. One red. One green. If there was work to be done in the mine, the green light was lit. If there was no work, the red light was lit.


I know very little about coal mining except what I’ve seen in movies and documentaries. But from what I’ve read about the area I reside, these were pretty typical coal mines. Difficult work with little pay.


This particular area of Colorado was rich in coal and below our communities are mine shafts a plenty. Above, the coal mine tipple has been replaced by oil wells. They are plentiful in this area. You can read my insight into the “grasshopper” invasion here.


Through the years, coal is created when certain elements exist together. Vegetation, animals, moisture, heat, and pressure make up these elements. When they are allowed to work together, they form the perfect combination for coal.


While we find it difficult, we understand what produces maturity in our spiritual lives. In the Book of James, James tells us to consider trials with joy. And he gives a reason for doing so. “Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:3-4 – NIV)

And just a few verses later, James states, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12 – NIV)


We know from Jesus’ words that we will face trials. We will be put under pressure. And when we are in the midst of these trials, it’s good to have some backup to relieve some of the pressure. God’s Word can provide that encouragement. I’ve listed some passages (there are many more) below to consider memorizing or write on note cards so they are readily available for your use.


Proverbs 18:10

Romans 5:3

Romans 8:37-39

2 Corinthians 4:16

2 Corinthians 12:9

1 Peter 1:6, 9

1 Peter 4:12, 16, 19

1 John 4:4


If you are under pressure today, know it is part of the process. God is with you. He will provide backup when you need it because His Name is a strong tower. And just remember, His light is always green!


I enjoyed reading about my community and the history that came along with it. I wasn’t as thrilled to see the geological map of the mines below our communities. But I can’t worry about it. I won’t fret over it. I’ll just trust that God will protect all who have chosen to live in the carbon valley.


Grace and peace be yours in abundance,



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