A Light Affliction?
January 16, 2014
2 Corinthians 4:17, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment…”
Torturous. That is how it feels. Every moment is painstaking. And it happens most every night of the week.
From the instant I mention the word, my extremely talented, fun-loving seven year old son turns into a mini-monster. He starts to grumble. Tears fall from his big green eyes. Pent up frustrations spew from his lips. He just wants to play. He wants to run. Ride his bike. Throw a ball. Watch t.v. Anything to escape the arduous task…
The night is different, but the scenario is the same. I have relived this episode night after night for three years now. And, truth is, even with prayer— The situation itself, hasn’t changed all that much.
I hate to admit it, but second grade is hard for him. When I lay it all out there, first grade and kindergarten were no different.
It seems much harder than it ought to be. And I am tired of hard. I don’t want life to have such trying times. I want it to be easy. I want to it be fun, all the time. I want it to run smoothly, without interruptions. Especially, the ones that repeat themselves over and over again.
The longer I live, however, the more I am reminded… Life isn’t always easy. Sometimes it is hard. Sometimes there are interruptions I’d rather not deal with. Often, the interruptions last longer than I want them to. But, always. When I gain the right perspective – The affliction is really rather light.
What, really, is a whiny kid in the midst of a lost and dying world?… If my son spells “they” – “thay” until he is twenty-five. Will it really matter?… If he never reads above grade-level, will his life be any less purposeful?… Is his potential to fulfill the Lord’s call limited by his standardized test score?
It really is a light affliction. And if I believe God’s Word, it is only for a moment. Before I blink my eyes, these moments will be gone. My small green-eyed boy will be a tall green-eyed man. And so I will wish for such a light affliction, once again. Even, if for but a moment.
Look for the Light
January 14, 2014
2 Corinthians 4:6, “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness…”
Whether we recognize it or not, the Lord of the Universe commands light to shine in every place. Even the dark places. The ones we’d rather forget exist. Those places we try to run from. The hurt we try to numb. The anxiety we try to hide… He shines the light even there.
Truly, the light is present in every place. But when we close our eyes, we can not see it. When we harden our hearts, the light is shut out.
Then – life is dark.
The darkness is bleak. It intrudes and reeks havoc. It crushes our plans,steals our dreams, and causes us to cry out in agony. The darkness reminds us of our weakness. Of our humanity. And our need for a Savior.
On the contrary – when we open our eyes, we are awakened to the light. The light encourages us to live life to the fullest. It creates life from death, bestows undeserving gifts, and births impossible dreams. The light restores and refreshes. It hopes and anticipates. And reminds us that we were created for a purpose. One that only we can fulfill.
When we face obstacles in life that try to steal the light from us, we must remember this truth: It takes but a tiny touch of light to invade the darkness.
The next time you feel burdened down, but sense a hint of faith rising in the darkness. Reach for it. When you hear a dash of encouragement in a strange place. Hold tight. When a glimmer of hope emerges where once was none. Cling to it with all your might. Wrap your heart around that tiny touch and don’t let go. For in such moments, the light is unveiled and darkness is destroyed.
So I encourage you…
Awaken your senses.
Live life with your eyes wide open.
Soften your heart to the small expressions of the Lord’s glory.
Catch a glimpse of His heart.
And in doing so, discover a love like none other. A love that is ever-present in good times and bad. One that is true. Unconditional. Merciful. Gracious. Kind.
When darkness looms… Look for the Light.
It Still Feels Risky
January 10, 2014
James 1:3, “When your faith is tested…”
It is amazing to me, that after so many years of walking with the Lord, stepping out in faith still ‘feels’ risky. When will I learn that a feeling is nothing more than an imperfect representation of something that may or may not be true?
My feelings are fickle. My faith should not be.
Each time I am tested, I have a choice to make. To hold firmly to my fears or grip even tighter to the Lord. So far, I have chosen faith. I have chosen to believe the Lord with my life. With my heart. With my deepest desires. So far, the Lord has proven to be faithful.
When will I get it? When will that feeling disappear?
Truly, I have no guarantee that it will ever go away. But one thing I know for certain. Without taking the risk, I will never know what could have been. I will never personally explore the trustworthiness of my Lord. And I will never discover what I was created for.
So – Every time I am tempted to shrink back. Every time I am tempted to run. Every time stepping out feels too risky. I think about what could be, if only, I will choose to believe. Then, I disregard that old, familiar feeling that won’t go away. And step out anyway.
Every time. Every day. Every season. The Lords shows up. Never early, but ALWAYS right in time.