“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness.” (Genesis 1:3-4) “You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light. With Your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.” (2 Samuel 22:29-30) “Let the light of Your face shine upon us, O LORD. You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:6b-8) “When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (John 8:12)
We have a 55-gallon fish tank in the middle of our living room. It’s had one light bulb burnt out for probably a year or more. So at least half of the tank is always dark. And when life gets busy and I get behind on cleaning it, I will often times forget to even turn the one working light on, because, why turn it on to see how yucky the tank is? That’s the way it’s been for the last… well… the summer to be honest. Until TODAY! I broke down and spent some bucks on the fishies, and bought TWO new lights for the tank. I put them in and was AMAZED at the difference! I hadn’t cleaned the tank, the glass, anything, the ONLY thing I did was turn a new light on into the darkness and suddenly EVERYTHING in the tank looked new! The plants, gravel and the glass all looked cleaner and even the fish had colors that I’d never seen in them before! All because I was seeing them in a new light… literally! Suddenly I realized that that’s exactly what happens to US when we choose a relationship with Christ. He takes our old burned-out light out and replaces it with the supernatural light of the Holy Spirit. And then amazing things start to happen! Even though we’re not spotlessly clean (“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24) His amazing light shining through us makes us look cleaner than we have been in months! His love brings out colors we never even knew we had! Strengths where there used to be weaknesses, confidence where there used to be fear, success where there used to be struggle. It’s through our relationship with Jesus that we can begin to experience life to the fullest degree possible. Not when we enter religion, but rather, when we enter into a relationship. There is a HUGE difference between the two.
God has really been stretching me on this concept. The concept of a real relationship with God Almighty and what that looks like, feels like, acts like, prays like. It’s been very different from religion. Religion is based on rules or the Law, right and wrong, black and white, traditions. But relationship is simply based on relation. How we relate to God and the world around us, filled with less black and white and rather color and depth, height and width. To go from the black and white two-dimensional world of religion and enter into the Technicolor high-definition world of relationship where NOTHING is simply black and white has made me feel a bit like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz! I’ve stepped into the place where everything I’ve ever thought I’ve know about God now has HIS light shining on it instead of my own dim bulb and there are colors and things that I’ve never seen before, concepts I’ve always just blindly accepted assuming they were correct and finding myself questioning them and testing them to see if they would hold up under this new light.
Something that is really blowing my mind today is that God knows everything. OK, I already knew that, but I mean He KNOWS EVERYTHING! Past, present and future, He knows it ALL. You see, that’s a big deal to me because I am a people pleaser, I care DESPERATELY about how God feels about me. Is He angry with me? Is He frustrated with me? Or is He disappointed in me? This last one is the worst one for me. I try SO hard to please Him ALL the time. But through all of this effort of trying to please Him I was missing something huge. God knows everything. Even everything about me! Like, He knows if I’m going to trip over one of my kids’ toys and speak harshly to them. He knows if I’m going to be bold and say “God bless you” to a complete stranger today. He knows it all. And since He knows it all, He’s not surprised by any of it, but rather He expected it.
As a mother I know my kids. I know that when I take my kids to the store at 7pm and they’re tired and hungry, things probably aren’t going to go too smoothly. I go into the store expecting them to struggle with maintaining their good manners. I’m also not surprised or disappointed with them when they start to melt down either. And why should I be? I’m the one that took them there in that condition in the first place!
My point is this, God knows when we’re tired of our circumstances and we’re ready to move on and He’s expecting a melt-down any second, He’s not angry or disappointed about it. He’s God. He knows everything! So what does He do? He hands us a cookie He had stashed in His purse for JUST such a time as this. Tells us to hang on just a little while longer. We’re almost done shopping there are just a few more things on His list and then we’ll move on.
Yes, it’s amazing what a new light can show you about the world that you carry around inside you. Things you never knew before.
Jesus, thank You for dying and giving up Your Spirit so that You could share it with us and shine Your beautiful light into our hearts and out through our lives! We are so blessed to be called not just children of God, but Your friends as well. Thank You for continuing to chase us down with the blessing of a RELATIONSHIP with You, the creator of everything bright and beautiful. We love You YAWEH! Thank You for loving us more than we can ever comprehend! I look forward to an eternity of getting to know You… but if You don’t mind Lord, I’d like to start TODAY… if that’s OK with You.