Light

we run to the shadows


i’ve really been thinking of this idea of shame lately.

i always used to joke with church friends about denominations, and my catholic friends would always talk about the guilt the church put on them via confession, etc.

i got to thinking about my own church experience (i always say i’m a recovering southern baptist) and i just look at the immense shame that was loaded onto us as kids and teenagers.

there was this moral code that we had to live by. not that a moral code is bad in and of itself, but it wasn’t holiness. it was more like a checklist of things so that we could make God happy, at least that’s the way i received it.

if i messed up and did something wrong i surely didn’t want anyone to know, so i became really good at covering it up. i only cursed around my non-church friends. i attributed my virginity through high school as a pursuit of purity when the truth is i was too nerdy for any girls in my small town to sleep with (i sure did try)

this shame led to a dual world in college. i had my church friends and my other friends. my church friends had no idea of the life i lived outside of their presence, my shame wouldn’t let them. i wrote the other day how my parents didn’t really shame me, but others did, so i learned how to hide and lie.

so why? why do we continue in this pattern of shame when true freedom lies in confession. we’re so afraid that someone will reject us because of what we’ve done. it’s because it has happened. people judge and walk away because of actions.

but God is so much bigger than that. i hate that i project on Him the way people act sometimes. He says His ways are higher than our ways, but we think He will treat us like they do. we can’t fathom this  idea of grace that would reach down into our shame and pull us out of it. so we try to hide yet again. problem is you can’t hide behind a fig leaf. God sees it all. He sees it all and He still loves us. wouldn’t that be amazing for us to get? to see people for who they really are? no masks. no lies. no shame. no judgement.  just love. i realize that is not a human tendency because of our own brokenness, but if we could let God live through us? the old version of me is dead. i now live in Him. He lives through me. and the more i embrace that, and Him, the more the old dead stuff will fall away. i won’t have to worry about shame and the list because my heart will be far from those things.

the bible tells in Matthew that we are the light of the world. we can’t be hidden. we don’t hide the light under anything, yet when we are ashamed, we try to do just that. but the light always  reveals what is true, that’s why we sometimes try to stick to the shadows. the true Light shows us the way.

His breath filled all things with a living, breathing light–light that thrives in the depths of darkness, blazing through murky bottoms. It cannot, and will not be quenched. John 1:4-5 The Voice

even in the darkest place, a glimmer of light will be seen. and His is no small flame.

let us walk out of shame and into His light today. are you with me? it isn’t easy, but it will bring us freedom and rest. i see the light, lets walk toward it.

Advertisements

contemplating


the trouble that i’ve experienced in the past few years, months, weeks even. when i was 25 i wouldn’t have dared asked God why. that would have been weak and faithless. i mean i had ALL the answers…right?

but today at 41, i ask Him why all the time. He hasn’t revealed the exact purpose of anything, but I know He is forming me into His image, so that has to be enough.

but as i was contemplating these thoughts, i ran across this passage.

2 Corinthians 4:6-12

The God who spoke light into existence, saying, “Let light shine from the darkness,” is the very One who sets our hearts ablaze to shed light on the knowledge of God’s glory revealed in the face of Jesus, the Liberating King.

But this beautiful treasure is contained in us-cracked pots made of earth and clay-so that the transcendent character of this power will be clearly seen as coming from God and not from us. We are dented and dinged on all sides from our afflictions, but we are not crushed by them. We are greeted with pain at every turn, but we are not trampled or defeated. We are bewildered at times, but we do not give into despair. We are persecuted, but we have not been abandoned. We have been knocked down, but we are not destroyed. We always carry around in our bodies the reality of the brutal death and suffering of Jesus. As a result His resurrection life rises and reveals its wondrous power in our bodies as well. For while we live, we are constantly handed over to death on account of Jesus so that His life may be revealed even in our mortal bodies of flesh. So death is constantly at work in us, but life is working in you. The Voice

when you read that you think man, i’m a big baby. those people had it a lot worse. but there is a lot we can learn from that passage.

1) we will have trouble. we will be greeted with pain at every turn.

2) we won’t be defeated. Jesus life will rise up in us

3) the power comes from Him. but the treasure of His glory is contained in us.

so i will still contemplate the why, but i know that i won’t be crushed or abandoned, and i’ll try not to despair even though running and panicking is the easiest thing to do sometimes. i mean there are some cracks in the pot.

wow, it’s already Thursday…


and i’m behind on my SOTM posts.  i guess i need to get going.

today we are talking about light!!

lightbulb1

Matthew 5:14-16

14“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

i can’t read this passage of scripture without thinking of the children’s song “This Little Light of Mine”.  as cheesy as that song may sing, it has a direct correlation to this verse.  the line “hide it under a bushel…no! i’m gonna let it shine” shores  up with verse 15.  light has many purposes but it’s main purpose is to dispel darkness.  darkness is the absence of light.

i also think of verse 13 every time that i fly into a major city.  miles and miles of lights that can’t be hidden.  you can’t cover that up.

have you ever been in a very dark room one that your eyes really can’t adjust to the light and then a glimmer or flicker of light comes on?  what do you do?  you move towards it.  Genesis says we are created in the image of God, in other words we are to reflect His Glory.  that’s where we get our light, and if we are light in dark places, people will move towards that glorious light!  not only that He says in verse 16, that they will see our light and praise our Father in heaven.  He gets the glory for us being a reflection.  awesome!!!

one of my favorite songs talks about light.  here you go.