Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Light - Part II

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread,
Are big with mercy, and shall break,
In blessings on your head.

William Cowper, Light Shining Out of Darkness, 1772

Before the Light could come, there was a time to be in darkness, a long time of waiting. About four hundered years passed with no "word" from YHWH. And the waiting was much longer if you consider the passage of time from the prophets' original pronouncements. I find the whole process strange and somewhat inexplicable, but it can serve, if nothing else, as a reminder that God's timing and ways are not like ours.

When darkness comes, to whom do we look? Do we get angry because we believe God is obligated to make life easy for us?

I am more and more aware these days of how diffirent the life, the perspective, the hope, the aspirations and beliefs of Americans are (and other westerners) from much of the Church in other parts of the world.

It seems to me that only here, in stunning affluence, would someone say (as was said in my hearing recently), "Look, Jesus provided a parking place right next to the entrance!" If we believe Jesus is providing ease for us, would it not follow that if we walk through slush in wind and sleet to a faraway mall entrance that Jesus is somehow failing to pay attention to us? I think so, and I think the level of such foolish, self-centered attitudes are astounding--and all too common. Such thinking sets us up for trouble when darkness comes--and it does.

God is love. I believe that God desires connection with mankind. And the Bible tells us that Jesus is our "elder brother" and he calls his disciples his "friends." Amazing! But has this led us, rich as we are, to think of the Lord, Creator of All, the I AM, the Holy One--as some sort of buddy who exists to make life good for us? Is this why we seem so prone to believing that God has somehow done wrong by us when we go through a dark time?

Was part of the purpose of the "darkness" to increase mankind's longing for "light?" Is that true in our lives as well?

Praise God for promises that we are children of light, and that we will not always walk in darkness. The Lord is the source of light.

Psalm 8:28 "You light a lamp for me. The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness."

Micah 7:7-9 "As for me, I look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me... though I fall, I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light...The Lord will bring me into the light, and I will see his righteousness."

John 1:4-6 The Word gave life to everything that was created and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

John 12:46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

II. Cor. 4:6 For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

In this dark world, cause our hearts to long for you, O God of light and life. Help us, the people who claim to have Your light, to shine brightly in whatever ways we find to do this year. Even as we ourselves sometimes wait for light, shine through us to others. Thank you that the darkness can never extinguish the light.


Anonymous said...

I have just heard an account of someone's visit to a famous cavern somewhere. They said the guide let them experience "total darkness" turning off the lights and encouraging them to try and see their hand in front of their face. They couldn't. They were warned to be prepared for the lights to come back on... it would be very bright in comparison. Then, instead of putting on the lights, the guide simply lit a cigarette lighter. This person said that this one little flame was so bright that it made them squint.

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

That happened to me too. I told the story as part of Sunday's sermon. :-)

BTW, I have misplaced your blog address and can't get there. Can you email it to me?

Anonymous said...

Don't you believe that sometimes God actually does provide ease for us, too? It might be the parking space, or it might be a good car to go places with. It might be a financial contribution to bring food to our table instead of a job to work for the money. Or anything. I believe that sometimes He wants to pamper us - and also does that. But it doesn't mean that He somehow fails when He chooses not to do that. He just knows when we need it and on the other hand when it's bad for us.

I mean, sometimes He heals the sick - other times not. It doesn't mean that He fails to heal them - He just chooses not to, maybe for reasons unknown to us. But no matter what He chooses, it's for our good.

Nevertheless, this jumped at my face:

When darkness comes, to whom do we look? Do we get angry because we believe God is obligated to make life easy for us?

I'm not looking for a parking place, but some answers, and I'm being impatient because I'm looking at my own schedule instead of God's one.

A good post, thank you for it.

Anonymous said...

as eija would say OUCH

hard to look in the mirror at this. I'm not into prosperity ministry - but there are times when I cry out to God to cushion the blows. And sometimes those cries go (seemingly) unheeded.

Ouch indeed

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

Hello you two. I do believe that God certainly may bless us or be visible in our lives in "small" ways. Perhaps that might include a parking space...depending on the circumstances. I just do not believe that everytime we find a parking space close to a door that God engineered it. I expect God would prefer we walked to the store instead, or walked a ways to the door anyway, using the bodies we were given. Now, if that is not possible, a close space is a blessing.

EIja and Lorna, I'm stopping to pray for both of you now. Many blessings, large or small, as is in God's choosing! ((((hugs))))

heartberry said...
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