My daughter and I were walking through Time Square a few months back, trying to take in All Things NYC, when she remarked to me how much brighter it seemed at night than it had been earlier that day as the sun still shone overhead.
You wouldn't think that possible. But with the technology of today... digital screens crawling up the sides of buildings all around, I realized she was right.
But none of it truly drew me in. In fact, much of it seemed to distract me... to try to grab my attention; first this, then that. And then, "Hey look over here!" But I couldn't really enjoy any one thing.
As bright as it seemed, it gave no warmth.
As much as it beamed, it shed no truth.
As clear as it shone, it focused no direction.
For a human engineered light, no matter the size, the scope, nor the wattage... could never truly compare to the illuminating presence of our God.
For His brilliance
brightens the soul,
warms the heart,
reveals all truth and
gives true direction...
but it can be carried forth...
going before us and
If we have such beautiful light within, no place we travel and no one we encounter remains in darkness. For when we have truly been illuminated by Him, we can't help but carry His light wherever we go. And often, without saying a word, others will be drawn to it.
It's not as bright and distracting as that Time Square spectacle, though God could do so if He wanted. But rather this warm soft glow comes from the heart. It's a knowing look, a satisfied glance, a soft and tender word for someone in need. This to be sure is the needed Light of Recovery others are longing for in the darkness.
Let us carry it forward today.
Fear can take over our thoughts,
paralyze our potential, and
push us toward panic.
But the Lord softly whispers...
I am the One who comforts you.
He does not wish that we look around at the temporary, at that which will fade like the mist, or be given up like the grass. Rather He desires we bow in humble adoration. That we recognize at voice which calls from the deep.
He planted it within each of us.
Why do we struggle and resist?
Why to we pull so hard against?
This battle of the wills can only be lost when we choose not to receive all that He offers. It's light and airy, easy and peaceful. It's comfort and grace, love and mercy.
His strong hands stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations that we could stand upon what is solid, what is firm, what is known. Let us not forget the same hand which formed us, unique and special, purposed and planned. Let us not deny the very Maker who continues to hold that hand open to us in grace.
He is patient.
He is kind.
He is gentle.
He is good.
No matter what, this Almighty God, forgotten by many, still longs to comfort those whose backs remain turned to Him. What a loving God He is.
Once again, we stand amidst nature in celebration of our Lord. It would seem that their voices are more consistently lifted in praise than those using words... those with a copy of the book God wrote, whom we might expect to celebrate His creation.
Could it be the lack distraction... this nature more grounded, rooted, unshakable and unshifting... more content in every quiet moment of their existence? If you've hiked these places, and enjoyed their solitude, maybe you can imagine why.
For I doubt when we leave their presence, they miss our heavy feet. The peaceful silence left behind after we cease from shouting among their canyons, enjoying the prideful echo of our own voices ringing in thier ears. Most likely they long to forget us.
But the Lord continues...
Even if these forget,
yet I will not forget you.
Look, I have inscribed you
on the palms of My hands;
How precious we are to Him...
even in the affliction of our pride
we mean more to Him
than the splendor of all His creation.
For look how He has
carved our name in His hand....
our Constant Compassion
who still bears the scars;
wearing them as a daily reminder
that we belong to Him.
Can you imagine...
Can you believe...
that before you or I were even born,
the heavens were rejoicing,
the depths of the earth shouting,
the mountains were singing
as in a chorus
with every forest and tree in it.
All because the Lord acted on our behalf!
He swept away our sins... like a cloud.
As if that were nothing for Him.
Yet it was everything!
He makes it sound so light, so easy...
so airy and beautiful.
Yet it was the darkest day in history.
The blood that was shed
as He was spit upon and betrayed.
He hearts that fell
as they considered their hope lost.
This man who they thought
had come to save them from oppression
now being killed upon a cross.
Surely this was not the day of celebration.
But on the third day...
that's when the clouds were swept
and the heaven's rejoiced.
it's when our Waiting Redeemer
looked upon His hand
and saw your name and mine
Paid in full.
The Lord has acted on our behalf.
And all the earth rejoiced.
How beautiful when the prophet speaks of our Savior, Jesus! And these, the words of our Father, God Issuing a decree of delight for all He would do in the future.
He would grow weak or be discouraged until He had established justice on the earth.
How grateful I am that our Savior did not give up along the road to the cross.
How grateful I am that our Messiah did not become discouraged until our salvation was secured, our debt was paid, and our past was dead and buried.
How grateful I am that our LORD humbled Himself be be a Servant. LORD, fill us with the same Spirit that we too can can persevere with courage to fulfill our purpose and find delight in You.
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