Thursday, August 30, 2012

Letting in More of His Light

"In Him was life and that life was the light of all mankind." (John 1:4)

I let that light permeate my mind a few moments…

Light helps me see things I wouldn’t otherwise see. It keeps me from stumbling in the darkness. Light reveals the truth. It highlights beauty and exposes flaws. Light shows the way, inspires potential.

Light is a photographer’s most powerful tool. Consider the glorious moments of sunrise and sunset: what an adventure it is to be poised to get a piece of that spectacular sky! An artist seeks to capture the elusive beauty of light – a light that brings ambiance, releases emotion and makes colors come alive. From a box of paints the artist painstakingly coaxes the colors to life to replicate a sunlit forest path, the dewdrop on a rose or a glistening pond. Oh, the treasure and pleasure of light!

But the light of Jesus Christ transcends all other light, radiating out to all who seek it. It is exceedingly more beautiful and powerful than any other light source we know. It brings life! It warms, adorns and enchants every living thing.

From the gentlest glow to a burst of tremendous intensity, He speaks into our lives. His light casts a serene simplicity on the most perplexing matters, it diffuses doubt and articulates direction. It is vibrant and undeniable, when it finally penetrates the walls we hide within. The next step is well illuminated -- we know what needs to be done.

Just as an artist's eye discerns the best colors to blend, a child of God recognizes the times she needs to draw nearer still, to be infused with His light. Sometimes it is a scrupulous process, as we are not often given a "high beam" when we ask for light. Most often, walking with Jesus and abiding in Him provides just enough light to take the next step.

Lord, you have come into the world as light, so that no one who believes in you should stay in darkness. (John 12:46) Let your marvelous light seep into every area of my life. Saturate me with your light and your life. 

Light of the world you stepped down into darkness, opened my eyes, let me see… (love that song!)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Making it Real

Our new grandson Noah (with arms up)
Just knowing we were expecting another grandchild was exciting. The anticipation grew while watching the pregnancy and seeing David and Debbie's faces beam as they talked about becoming parents. Over the months we prayed, we waited and grew more and more excited. On Wednesday night, we heard the news: Noah Alexander had arrived!

On Thursday we cleared our calendars and took a short road trip to meet our new grandson. When we arrived in town we drove around, eagerly awaiting the afternoon "quiet hours" to pass so we could see his little face for the first time.

After joyous greetings and wrapping the new mom and dad in our arms, we settled down to get to know Noah. Holding him close to me made everything "real." I am forever in love. I can't get the little miracle out of my mind. He has captured my heart.

We could think about it and talk about it all we wanted, but living it in the flesh is what made it real.

It reminded me of how we make our faith real. We can have head knowledge, gravitate toward truth and recognize spoken wisdom. I can read the Bible and say, "That makes so much sense." I may feel I know what to do in a given circumstance, but actually doing it is an entirely different thing.

Can I endure under pressure, persevere through the wait, trust God for His plan in the trials of life? Only living through these circumstances -- practicing our faith -- will make it become real. Experience is the means by which God stretches our perspective, strengthens our faith and refines our character.

So in the midst of the struggle, may I remember that the real life experience is what allows us to live authentic lives for Him. It gives credence to what used to be just concept.

Our new grandson is much more than a wonderful concept now. As I joyfully reflect on this new blessing in our lives -- now beautifully real and known to us -- I trust in God in the areas that are yet unknown.

Lord, you are able and faithful and loving. Your gifts are better than anything we can dream up ourselves. You know what it will take to grow me in the ways I most need to grow. When you ask me to wait, to persevere, to trust, give me the courage to put my faith into practice and make it real.