Monday, April 14, 2008

Let There Be Light

I've always been fascinated by the natives of the polar region. Their resourcefulness birthed out of the need for survival proved fodder for many homeschool discussions with my boys this past winter. Not many people here would be excited about whale blubber or seal fat after all. But, these people take those precious commodities and among other things, they use them for their lamps. This fat keeps a lamp burning during the long hours of darkness in the months when the sun's light seems to have drowned somewhere beneath the hardened surface of the frozen ice flows. The commodity of light--manufacturable light--has always been precious and remains precious still in many parts of the world. As a young child, my parents too used wick-lamps for light. I remember the puffs of charcoal smoke climbing toward the ceiling before dissipating into the night. These were the kerosene lamps they used before upgrading to electricity. God was big on light too. (Hippies. Need I say more?) He actually instructs the Israelites to hang onto their olives for oil so they too could have lighted lamps. This morning as I sit in a lighted room though, God has pointed me to the light far greater than manmade light, far greater even that His created light--the sun. This morning, I am reminded that "In Him was life and that life was the light of mankind." (John 1:4) "I am the way, the truth and the light..." (John 14:6) Not a new thought. I know. But before you go to sleep on me, look at this verse with me. "The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn't the son I had borne." (I Kings. 3:21) This story has always sucked me in like a vaccum cleaner. Do you remember it? It's the one about the two women who had given birth to baby boys. One of the ladies' son died and she actually swapped out her dead baby with the other woman's live baby. Can you imagine the horror of the other woman when she lifts the infant into her arms to breastfeed and discovers it's cold arms and legs? But then, as she looks closer in the morning light the blue/grey skin covers a babe not her own. She sees that this is not her child. In the light of day all things were made clear. Light changed everything didn't it? It can make a world of difference in our lives too. But frankly, sometimes I don't want to see what God's light might reveal. John 1:10 says of the Light of the World, " He was in the world, and the world was created by him, but the world did not recognize him." We usually consider this verse when we talk about people who have not accepted Christ as their Savior, but what about those of us who have? Could it be possible that we are clinging to lifeless, dead ways because we refuse to recognize the light of God? Sorry for such a graphic illustration, but it gripped my heart this morning that I could be blind to the light of God in my life or at least refusing to let it shine into my life. And if I were to simply flick the switch and allow God to shine in every nook and cranny of my heart, what kinds of dead ways would he find? It really is horrific to think that we as Christians literally have the Light of the World living within us and yet many of us are stumbling through life. Like blind men and women we grope in a darkness not Creator imposed, but self-imposed. We choose to close our eyes when the Bible says "God gives light to our eyes..." (Ezra 9:8) Consider this passage in Job. "There are those who rebel against the light, who do not know its ways or stay in its paths." Now this is really a lot for me to wrap my mind around. I want to be so open to God's work in my life than I'm willing to admit that there could be rooms within my heart where I'm rebelling against God's light. And if that is the case then I need to realize that the things to which I may be clinging or the ways I may still be living are ways of death. They, like that lifeless infant are things that will bring me only grief and heartache. Do you follow me? I asked God, "Lord, just show me if this is true. Show me the areas where I am still living in the dark." And I'm not proud to tell you it only took me a few hours to give Him the chance to do just that. I was chatting on the phone with my sister--which those of you who have sisters know happens at least once a day--when God's light like a lamp barely lit, started to shine. "Well," I was saying to her "you aren't going to believe what he said...can you believe that? He's always like that..." Gossip. Just like that, God's light was on and there was a dead way just waiting to be discovered. Man was I busted. I couldn't even make an excuse before God. I knew I had allowed an old way to infiltrate my day. I had to confess that God was right and ask His forgiveness. Most of you are probably like me in that you aren't stealing from your boss or cheating on your spouse or commiting murder, but are you also like me in that sometimes it's the little things that I don't even stop long enough to consider? It's like this old shed in my mom's backyard. She's planning to put her house up for sale this spring and we've been helping her to get things ready. That shed--once white--has been on the property since we moved here when I was little. Somehow, we had all stopped noticing it. But anyone looking at the house would immediately notice it and want it removed. It's an eyesore and that's putting it graciously. Sometimes, things have been in our lives so long that unless we allow God's light to shine anew, we don't even realize they are there. None of us wants to find a corpse in our bed when we waken. But how many of us are lying with more than one? Morning Star, may your light gently show me the dead ways in my life. Lord, I'm so sorry for the areas that are still here after all these years. Forgive me for closing my eyes to things that you wanted to remove. Lord, help me to submit to your light in my life. Help me to see it as a catalyst for growth and warmth. Thank you for being faithful--for never stopping your renovation process in my heart. Amen.

John 3:19-21

"I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness." Ecc. 2:13

"The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple." Psalm 119:130

"For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." II Cor. 4:6

Listen:

Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord

2 comments:

Pete & Faith Olver said...

Sarah,
I'm really enjoying your blog. You're such a good writer and communicater. It's very encouraging. Thanks, faith o

Bretta said...

So I clicked on your blog from your email signature...I agree with Faith. You are an excellent writer! Thank you for letting the Lord use you to speak to my heart this morning. I can't wait to get to know you better next year at co-op! Adding you to my bloglines...I don't want to miss a post :o) Hugs!!