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Posts Tagged ‘darkness’

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20

 

It happened…like it always does, I suppose. Murphy’s Law in motion. With a deep smile, I tuned in to TV program I’d been wanting to watch for weeks and in a split second–nothing.

No lights, no electricity, no sound.

I became enveloped in darkness. No street lamp shown through my living room window. I pulled back the curtains to see the whole neighborhood shrouded in black. For almost four hours…on a crystal clear moonless night.

I rarely think about how much I am dependent upon electricity. Most of the time I don’t give it a second thought. I enter the room and flick on the wall switch. I ask my Google mini to play the radio station and boot up my computer to check my emails. I adjust the room thermostat and nuke my food while getting cold water from the fridge. I recharge my phone and my tablet as I sleep. Electrical power is an essential part of my life.

But that night, nothing worked. No power came through the wires. I felt blind and helpless. I sat on the couch for several minutes trying to get my brain to kick in and solve the situation.  After a half hour, I realized the lights were not coming back on anytime soon. There must be a major outage. All I could do was wait. My phone only had 20% power, even on battery saver.  I had no entertainment options. No computer, music or lights. I reminded me of the time I rode out a hurricane. What did I do then? Ah.

I used the flashlight on my phone to dig out the battery-operated lantern, and then located a shoebox of candles in my closet. I lit a few (ignoring the prohibition of their use in my apartment complex, but I doubted the manager would swoop in at eight at night and evict me.) Recalling that if they are placed high up they let off a larger glow, I set them on top of bookcases and countertops. Much better. A soft yellow glow penetrated my apartment.

I prayed a while and mentally went through my prayer list of folks. Still no lights returned, though a few times the power tried to gin back up only to go back down again within a few seconds.  My phone was almost dead so I couldn’t pull up my Bible app. I went to the bookcase, found my old study Bible, blew off the dust, and began to read as my cat curled in my lap. Memories of an elementary school teacher explaining how Abe Lincoln studied to be a lawyer by firelight etched my mind.  I think it was in reference to there being no excuse for us not doing our homework. Funny how things like that surface.

Then Romans 1:20 jumped off the page.  It’s words whacked me in the heart.

How often do I take God’s power for granted? I deeply rely on it. Whenever I need Him, I flick on my prayers and He comes. I plug into His strength when I feel mine diminishing. I seek His warmth when the world feels too cold and harsh. I lean on His love as a widow who, being housebound, often goes for days without any human touch. Without my Lord, I am powerless. I need daily recharging, just like my phone. I rely on His light.

 

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to not have God’s power in your life? Do you expect it to be there whenever you need it, like turning on a  lamp?

Rest assured, unlike the electric company, the power of our loving Lord never goes out. We can always tap into it, and we should…throughout our day and our night.

 

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I talented photographer friend of mine, Debbie Hainey, took this photo:

Gorgeous, right? But also meaningful. Take another look.

Let’s say the sunrise represents the Light of Christ.

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. John 1:4

We are the window blinds. We have a choice. We can turn toward Him or away. Let Him in or block Him out.

Notice the blind turned closest to the sunrise reflects the most while the ones further away reflect less and less? It is the same with us. The more we turn toward Him, the stronger we reflect Him.

 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16

Which blind are you right now? The good new is this: each of us can reflect Christ no matter where we are in our faith-walk. You don’t have to be a perfect Christian. Frankly, there is no such thing this side of Heaven. Even if you think you are only shining a little bit, that can be an effective lure.

When one is used to the dark, it takes a while for his or her eyes to become accustomed to the light. Often, people cannot handle the brightness of the Truth. They need to adjust, just as we adjust the blinds from the full blast of the sun’s rays.

We call these window slats “blinds” for a reason. Perhaps they should be dubbed anti-blinds instead. Just a side-thought. Back to the point.

Even if you feel far away from Him you are reflecting more than you think and can draw others to His Truth a bit at a time. Eventually they will be able to face Him full on, and so will you.

Does His light ever blind you? Is your reaction to turn away or to face Him and absorb it knowing it will expose any darkness inside you? We serve a patient God who lets us adjust to His will. One day, in eternity, we will all reflect Him equally.

But in the meantime, let us strive to turn more toward Him than we are. It will reflect in how we act.

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When the Light Goes Out

As I climbed the stairs a few cloudy and rainy nights ago, I noticed a difference. A veil of darkness blanketed my apartment complex corridor.  Halfway up the outdoor stairwell, the rungs disappeared into blackness. Ahead I could barely detect the light pole across the street, but its glow cast down to the pavement, offering very little help from my perspective. Needless to say, a chill clutched my chest for a second. What if someone lurked by my shadowed door?

IMAG0371Normally, a sconce hangs outside my entry to greet me. Via an automatic sensor, it flicks on when the skies darken. The same detector operates the ones at each of the four apartments in my unit along a sheltered, outdoor breezeway. I have become dependent upon its illumination when I come home after dark. It provides not only better ability to see the stairs and my door’s keyhole, but adds a sense of security. Tonight, that safeness I’d taken for granted didn’t exist.

The unexpected darkness unhinged me a bit.  I felt for the keyhole and worked my key into it. After several tries,at last it slipped into place. I turned it, heard the click, twisted the door knob, and sighed in relief as I entered my apartment with the table lamp lit to greet me. Safe.

Had I waited for my eyes to adjust to the dimmed glow emitting from street lamp across the street, I probably would have been able to detect the keyhole better and determine nothing evil lurked by my stoop.  But being a woman alone in the dark stairwell, I panicked –just a touch. That only made things worse. Time slowed as my anxiety increased. I became jittery with my fumbling to open the door as my brain hissed, “Hurry, hurry, hurry.”

As a Christian, have I become so used to the light of Christ that I become anxious when faced with darkness? Do I need to “see” evidence of  Christ in order to believe He is always nearby?  Now you may argue a Christian is never totally in the dark. However, there are dark periods in all of our lives simply because we walk the earth.

When difficult times hit me suddenly in life, may I not react the same way spiritually as I physically did in that dark corridor. Instead, let me wait patiently for my faith-eyes to locate my Lord, the One who calms, guides and protects my soul. In blessed assurance, may I stand firm in the knowledge that Christ has already won the battle over the principalities of darkness. I know He is my faith’s automatic sensor, illuminating me with truth when things appear darker than normal.

Unlike the one at my apartment, He will never fail to light my life.

Lord, keep the jitters at bey and thwart the desire to handle things quickly on my own. Even if I can’t see clearly with my eyes, may I always recall what the Psalmist states: You are the lamp unto my feet and the light unto my path. (119:105) Amen.

 

 

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I saw an advertisement for glow-in-the-dark paint which you can apply to a stone path. AHA! Reminds me of the Word of God.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105

The ad says the chemicals absorb the stepping stonessunlight, so when it becomes dark, they release a glow. That way,  people can see the way to travel and not stumble. This miracle paint is for sale at most of the national hardware chain stores.

While my life is sunny and things are going great, I should be storing up passages from God’s Word and memorizing them. Let them ooze into my heart and soul just as the glow-in-the-dark paint seeps into the porous stone.

The Word of God should illuminate my faith so when the dark times come, and they will, I will have them stored up inside of me. One by one, the faith-stones will light my way along the path, even though I cannot see where it  leads. Then, instead of crouching and crying out in fear, afraid I may stumble, I can walk upright, assured that God’s light will guide me through.

Are you storing up His Light in you?  You can get it at any local book store, or as a free app on your smart phone. It is called the Bible.  Illuminating, right?

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icon_1_image_x16 IMG_20131202_092238_869Our cat kept scratching his notched ear. He’d rub it against the carpet. Not all the time, just every now and then. Still, obviously  something in that ear was bothering him. So I held the squirming fur ball as my son peered into his ear cavity. But because of the curved folds, my son couldn’t really see.

“We need to carry him into the light so I can see deep inside of his ear,” my son suggested. So, we went  into the bathroom where the light was stronger. The cat really squirmed now.

“Hmm. I think there is some gunk in the cat’s ear, but I still need more light.”

My son got the pen flashlight and  aimed the beam deep into the cat’s ear canal.  “Aha. No wonder he was scratching it!”

He got a Q-tip and gently ran it along the inside folds of the cat’s ear as our beloved fur ball wiggled in my arms. One hind leg began to thump, as it tried to to stop him. But success.The Q-tip came out full of dark, yucky wax.

I let our cat down and off he skittered to hide under the dining table. I bent down and sweetly reminded him we loved him and we did that not to be mean or cruel, but for his own good.

okay- I know some of you are squirming right now as much as the cat did. Some may say, “Oh, they shouldn’t have stuck a Q-tip in there.” But instead of going there, read on…
 

Where did I see a God message in this? Am I not the same way when it comes to sin? It bothers me now and then, but do I really want to have it exposed to God’s light? Do I want Him to dig deep down inside of me to get it out?  Do I squirm in the process? And, like my cat, do I then hear Him gently tell me it has to be done because He loves me?

“This is the verdict: the Light has come into the world.. Everyone who loves evil hates the light,.and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” John 3:19a,20

None of us want our faults exposed. But God know they are there. His Holy Spirit will keep reminding us of that one little area we have yet brought before the throne. Like  the gunk in my cat’s ear, it will irritate us now and then. Is it not better to let God hold us in His arms of love and gently pry the sin form deep inside of us? Sure, it will be uncomfortable, but it will be worth it.

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