Friday, March 8, 2013

Speaking Light

James was in his room talking to his stuffed bear.  His small friend sat on the bed while James stood a few feet away.  "Bear needs to get dressed." he proclaimed.  He walked over to his dresser and pulled out a pair of jeans, a shirt and a couple of socks.  Putting the clothes on the glassy-eyed animal, James stood back and smiled.  There was a little silence, and then James said, "Bear needs to go to the bathroom."  He picked up his companion, took him into the bathroom and placed him on the toilet seat.  There was a little silence, and then....

"Psssssssssssssssssss." escaped from James' mouth.

It's amazing how children play.  How funny, and what a joy to see!  I can imagine children across the world, regardless of their color or ethnicity, following suit.  What a great memory.

Unfortunately, it's not my memory.

Annie actually called me and related the story to me over the phone while I was at work.  She was standing in the doorway, watching the whole event while James went from room to room with his bear. But that incident added a little light to my day.  Something I could hold onto.  I pull that conversation out sometimes when I think about my son.

There are points of light that keep us going.  Those little stories give me joy in life.  Even during the difficult times, even during times of darkness, those events provide encouragement to keep me going.  A little hope.

There was a Christian Jew who wrote letters to churches in the first century A.D.  His name was Paul.  He spent a lot of time in prison.  He had his share of troubles and darkness.  Shipwrecked in the Mediterranean Sea.  Bitten by snakes.  Whipped with cattails.  He was writing to a church in Philippi at one point.  They were facing a lot of unrest because of the Roman occupation in the first century A.D.  Paul, who was no stranger to difficulty, wrote:

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thansgiving let your requests be made know to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."

This man who faced so much darkness was directing others to fill their minds with light.  Put your mind to it.  When you think of things that are true, what comes to mind?  The love of your spouse.  The strength of a friend.  The words of God.  What about something that's noble?  A man sharing a meal with a homeless person on the street.  A basketball team letting a boy with dropsy shoot the winning point.  Something just?  Something pure?  In all these things, Paul calls people to think on those things.  Feel pressure?  Don't be anxious...put it before God and fill your mind with the things of God.  Going through a time of feeling alone?  Fill your mind with the truth of what God spoke to reading the bible.

But I've noticed that there are times when people have difficulty finding light.  Finding hope.  Finding joy.  So it becomes encombent upon us to speak those words of light to them.  Perhaps a friend's husband just left her.  She'll need those comforting words of peace.  Maybe someone's been out of work for over a year, and the doors keep closing on him.  Such things can easily lead to depression.  So the ones who are strong need to stoop down low and lift up the weak.  The poor.  The hopeless.  Just as Jesus did.

Jesus faced difficulty as well.  At one point, Jesus' cousin and friend died.  John the Baptist was beheaded because he spoke against the king and his wife.  Jesus took off across the lake to spend some time alone with his disciples and his Father in heaven.  People learned where he was and followed him.  People who were poor.  People who felt hopelessness.  People facing loss.  Jesus first healed their sick, then he fed 5000 people with five loaves of bread and a couple of fish.

This is the sacrificial love that God shows us.  He makes His face shine on the good and bad.  He reaches down to lift us up.  God is love.  In all the situations that you face, whether joyful or difficult, He is there.  He wants you to draw near to Him in your lonliness, helplessness or loss.  In fact, He wants you to draw near to Him regardless of the situation. Reach out to Him, for He's reaching out to you.  And the more you reach out to Him, the more light you'll see in your life.

"Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, for I am gentle and humble in heart and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart
and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Jesus said, "I am the light of the world.  The one who follows me will not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." Cling to Jesus, and you will not only have light, but you will know life.  He is life.

1 comment:

  1. I like how you tied in the funny story with the boy to adding light to your life. I liked how you said sometimes when people are sad, or distraut about life, they can't find the light on their own, and friends need to speak it into their lives. True True!