I love our Christmas tree.
I love being in it’s light. I will turn off every light in the house just to get the full affect. Christmas lights evoke meaning. We have much to look forward to. Good things are coming. That’s the promise, right? A Christmas tree lights the way to Christmas. We anticipate and are excited by it. So, we sit, and watch, and wait.
But, as good as lights go, they are not enough. When day breaks, I cannot live by the light of my tree. I need the sun. I need to see clearly so that I can do what I need to do. I cannot clean by the light of my christmas tree. I need a source stronger than that.
The sun is not convenient. It can’t be turned off. It can’t be covered. It can’t be dimmed or manipulated. The sun is what it is. And, it will evoke a response. We will either open the curtains wider or close them tighter depending on what we’re doing.
We need it, though. We need the light to go where we need to go, to think what we need to think, and do what we need to do. We need light in it’s purest form, in all it’s beauty to make good decisions, to love well, and to understand the heart of another person.
How many times have I made judgement about a situation and then been transformed by a new set of information that changed my entire outlook. We use the phrase “light was shed on the matter” because we get the whole story and it changes everything. And, maybe that’s what light is. The whole story. Without a filter. It can’t be explained away. It is what it is and we need it, but what is our response to it? My response? When someone opens up and tell me the truth about their experience, how do I respond to the light being shed in the room?
With one set of lights, I feel a certain way, but it’s light is not strong enough to guide my movements. It is hopeful but I need something that will sustain me. I need something stronger and a bit uncompromising if I’m going to take the steps that’s required.
And, what does that look like?
Listening for answers.
Acting on what I’ve been told.
Being patient when things don’t look the way I thought they would.
Going back when I’m not sure.
Stepping into the light again.
Being honest. The worst thing that we can do is ignore the gunk, the fear, and the fury that rises in our hearts during these times. God is after those things while we’re on this path. He wants to remove what hinders.
Not giving in.
Walking slowly. This is the hard one for me. I have developed and lived by a whirlwind that rises and pushes and swells inside and makes me impatient for a every little thing. It’s okay to go slow.
Remaining expectant. This is a hard one, too. It’s right in line with walking slow, knowing that you are walking in a direction. The destination may just take longer than you expected.
Shrugging off regrets.
Believing there is a future.
To do any of this requires light. But, here’s the good news. The light does not depend on you. It depends on your source. The sun, God love it, is so incredibly big and unrelenting that most of the time, we don’t even think about it. It’s our given. The one thing we don’t have to worry about.
But what about our hearts? Good news! It doesn’t have to be you. Or me. But, I don’t always act like it. I’ll stand and struggle to light match after match when the Holy Spirit is right beside me, “Hello! I’m right here! I would love to help you out if you’ll let me.” and my response is (head down, determined), “No, thanks. I’ve got this.”
And, I wonder why I feel so tired.
But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
But everything exposed by the light becomes visible–
and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.
~ Ephesians 5:13
He is the light shining, which makes me a light, which He puts on a lamp stand to light up all these dark places in the world. It is dark, this lost and lonely world, but I know where the light is.
He’s here. Our light has come and the world has either thrown open the curtains or pulled down the shades and we, His followers, have done the same. Sometimes, the light hurts, especially when we’ve lived in darkness for so long. But, we are still being made into light, if we are willing to be changed by it.
It’s a choice, really. I can stay in the comfort and snuggly glow of the artificial or I can be ready when the sun rises and be willing to be changed through and through by the light and the life of God’s love. It is a daily choice. Sometimes, moment by moment. It is not easy, but when you’ve been in darkness for so long, the pain and the sting in the eyes is worth being able to see again.
Step into the light.
Be a light.