Monday, October 20, 2008

Turn On The Lights I Can't See A Thing In Here

"Oops, I should have turned on the lights before I let the garage door down. How will I ever get out of here?" Yesterday I cleared out enough of my garage to drive my car in for the night. I was so proud of my de-cluttering that I didn't process that I had not turned on the light inside the garage before I pressed the button to shut the door. In pure black darkness I stumbled over boxes, tools, bikes, etc. until I made it to the door to the hall and finally had some light. Yeah, I made it without a fall or injury. In my own home I set myself up to go through terror in the pitch black darkness.

This reminds me of the many people walking in "darkness" who may welcome a little light. Paul wrote in Ephesians 5...

“You groped your way through that murk once, but no longer.

You're out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain.

So no more stumbling around. Get on with it!

The good, the right, the true –these are the actions appropriate for daylight hours.

Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.

Don't waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness.

Wake up from your sleep, Climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light!”

The Message, Eugene Petersen

The Bible shows us over and over that Jesus Christ is the “Light of the world.”Since I surrendered all to Him He abides in me. Jesus conquers everything that seems to embrace darkness: depression .... doubt .... fear .... hurt.

Sometimes I take my eyes off of Jesus and His light dims. But He will work with me to bring truth in place of lies, hope instead of despair and wholeness rather than brokenness.

The greatest news is that with Jesus within me; I can bring His light into others' darkness. They don't have to grope helplessly. With this thought of shining warm light in a cold dark place I will mention basic needs of everyone. When these are assaulted or not being met "darkness" covers a person's mind.

Theologians and behavior specialist seem to agree that all people need: security, identity, belonging, purpose, and competence.

Let's expand this a bit to see how we can be vessels of God's light to serve others:

  • Love and connection: to feel love from and for, and connection with others and the need to bond; feel oneness with both others and yourself.

  • Significance: need to feel that you have meaning to others; you are unique, special and important.

  • Certainty or Comfort: need for the feeling that everything is settled, secure with no unpleasant surprises or crises around the corner

  • Uncertainty or Variety: precise opposite of above and potentially in conflicting with the need for certainty is the need to feel that life is interesting, adventurous, diverse, exciting and challenging.

  • Growth: need for the feeling that we are growing, intellectually, spiritually and physically. To become better, to improve one's skills, to stretch and to excel.

  • Contribution: Need to feel that we are giving of ourselves.

"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)

My question to you is: How do we show up and shine? How do spread light in a way that is helpful and healing? What's the the hurting, bankrupt, foreclosed, repossessed, jobless?

What is the way to help and honor dignity?

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© 2008 Kay Martin

Thrive In Christ

Who I Am In Christ by Neil Anderson

For several months we will center on this book to pursue Thriving in our Christian journey.

Neil challenges us with: "Do you know who you are in God's eyes? We are no longer products of our past. We are primarily products of Christ's work on the cross. Who we are determines what we do.

You are not who you are in Christ because of the things you have done, you are in Christ because of what He has done. He died and rose again so that you and I could live in the FREEDOM of His love."

That's just the introduction. More to follow.