Learning to be the Light…

We have had some unseasonably warm weather these past few weeks here in Michigan.  It seems to have led to the culmination of today…a predicted 86*and sunny first day of Spring!  I can’t say I’m complaining.  It has been such a wonderful gift to get outside everyday with our kiddos, dig out the sand toys, get a jump-start on Spring cleaning and pull out the summer clothes ( and SHOES!)…though I haven’t yet put the hats, boots and winter coats away…just in case!  This is Michigan afterall…it did snow last year on April 18 if we remember correctly!

One of the hardest adjustments for me each Spring is the “springing ahead” to Daylight Savings time.  That loss of an hour screws me up physically for a week it seems.    With the difficult adjustment, lack of sleep and agony to get used to the newness of Spring comes great things!  I love that the days are longer, the weather is (usually) warmer and there is more and more light each day.

In a way I feel like the Lord is doing the very same with my heart.  Each and everyday He seems to shine His light in a new way…a way that I had never experienced before.  Just as there are thousands of new buds on the trees and what seems like a thousand new lady bugs coming through my woodwork and the gift of a new day with each morning sunrise I can see how He leads me and teaches me something new everyday that I just didn’t understand before.  Sometimes it is an adjustment however and it isn’t always easy.  His light can sometimes require us to change our ways, change our thoughts, change our hearts.  But through that process in the end, wonderful things happen.  We are in His light…and it radiates to those all around us!  After being in the cold darkness for a very long time, there is something so warm and inviting when the warmth of His presence is near.  It makes the struggle of adjusting through surrender so worth it. 

Last week the Lord graciously showed me by shining His light in my heart.  I was focusing on my own struggles therefore I couldn’t effectively serve Him by serving the needs of others and do the work I am supposed to be doing.  I was too wrapped up in my own difficulties to see clearly what I needed to be focusing on.  When I take my eyes off of the Lord and place them on myself I begin to dim.  Once I allowed His light to radiate those dark places I was much more aware of the needs of those around me and much better equipped and attentive to them.  Rather than stay stuck in the trenches of selfishness with what I was struggling with He not only gave me grace for myself but miraculous strength and compassion to lift up others.  It was such a clear picture to me that just like the buds on the trees need the illuminating presence of the sun to bloom, I need the Lord’s illuminating presence in my heart to produce fruit for His kingdom…to be His light.  I just can’t do it by myself!

Even if the weather does get colder this Spring or we get another frost or even (gasp!) snow…there will still be more light tomorrow than there is today.  We all have attacks of cold selfishness on our hearts…even after we think the bitter of winter is gone.  This year I am really going to focus on the Light instead of the other things that might come along because when I take my eyes off of Him I begin to whither.  I pray my heart stays unseasonably bright and warm just as our weather has been…no matter how cold it gets outside!

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Matthew 5:14

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