Bright Light and Covered Eyes

by Melissa Henderson @mimionlife

Mask, gloves, hand sanitizer. Yes, I am prepared to enter the local grocery store.

I have tried my best to follow the current rules and regulations concerning staying safe from the Corona virus. My husband, Alan, and I wash our hands frequently; we don’t touch our faces and wear masks when needing to be in public. Yes, we are rule followers. We want to stay safe and healthy.

A shock came when Alan went for routine testing before a surgery and was told, “Sorry, the surgery has to be postponed. You’ve tested positive for the virus.”

He is one of the people who has no symptoms and he feels great. I immediately called the prayer chain at church. Prayers from family, friends and strangers began and kept going.

Our official quarantine began. We stayed inside, watched more movies, read more books, tried new recipes with food we had delivered from the local grocery store. Hours and days passed. We stepped outside onto the back porch from time to time to watch the wild life in the forest behind the house. Alan and I often remark how blessed we feel to see turkeys, deer, ducks, herons and egrets out back. Even the occasional coyote will quickly pop out of the forest on the journey to find food.

But recently, I noticed something unusual when I opened the back door and stepped outside. My eyes hurt. I instinctively covered my eyes as the bright sunshine was actually causing me pain. I squinted and blinked as my eyes began watering like a bad allergy attack. I tried to stay outside on the back porch, but finally gave up. The sunshine-induced pain would not quit.

Back inside the house, I wondered if other people were experiencing the same trouble. Glancing out of our front window, I saw several friends coming out of their homes. The first thing I noticed was that each person was covering their eyes from the bright sunshine.

One the first day of creation, God created light. He said “Let there be light,” and there was light. He “saw the light was good and He separated it from the darkness” (Genesis 1:2-4 NASB).

Then, many, many years later, God sent a different kind of light to the earth. John wrote: “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:4-5 NASB). The great light that Jesus shone while on earth had those who preferred the darkness shrinking back into the shadows. But while it illuminated with truth, His was not a harsh light that revealed every flaw and failure. His light was, and still is today, a warm, welcoming glow that beckons us out of the darkness.

We do not need to cover our eyes from His light. The light of the world came to save us.

For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.                              John 3:17 NASB

TWEETABLE
Bright Light and Covered Eyes – encouragement from Melissa Henderson, @MiMiOnLife on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Melissa HendersonAbout the author: Melissa Henderson is a writer of inspirational messages. Her first book for children, Licky the Lizard, was released in 2018. She also has a story in the compilations “Heaven Sightings” and “Remembering Christmas”. She contributes articles and Licky the Lizard by [Melissa Henderson, Mark Brayer]devotions to various magazines and websites. Her passion is in helping her community and church. Melissa is an elder, deacon and Stephen Minister. The family motto is, “It’s Always A Story With The Hendersons”.

Join the conversation: What does Jesus’ being the Light of the World mean to you?

 

 

 

 

Shining Brighter in the New Year

by Patti Richter

In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.  John 1:4-5

I heaved a sigh of relief as my husband, Jim, pulled a chunk of splintered wood from the palm of my hand. A small piece remained behind, however, and weeks later, though I couldn’t see it, the splinter still smarted if I touched the right spot.

Jim’s own little splinter was more elusive. He’d rubbed one eye for days after using his drill to repair a mailbox. A doctor’s bright light revealed an embedded metal shard, which he successfully removed.

Illumination is so helpful in spotting hidden issues—like mold. We signed a contract to buy a house that had everything we’d been looking for, but an inspector with a high-intensity lamp found this problem. We learned the mold could be removed for a hefty sum of money, and also how to avoid the threat of mold in the future. How much easier and less expensive these preventative measures would have been!

Today’s technology includes the blessings of tests, machines, and lights that reveal abnormalities and dangers otherwise unseen, especially regarding physical maladies that might lurk within. Some people, like me, put off health checks. We’d rather not know what might be amiss; we prefer to wait in blissful ignorance unless our bodies signal an alarm. So, for the present time, we avoid anxious hours of awaiting test results. But we might later regret this head-in-the-sand outlook.

At the dawn of each new year, we may tend to prioritize self-improvement—mostly physical health and fitness. Spiritually, however, our fix-it list requires more than resolutions. But while the thoughts and intentions of our heart are not hidden from God, we may delude ourselves that we can deal with any dark spots on our own.

Luke’s Gospel includes a scene of Jesus teaching a crowd about the need to have a life full of inner light, “no part of it dark” (Luke 11:36-42 NIV). Afterward, a Pharisee who’d invited him to dinner expressed concern that Jesus did not wash up before the meal, as their custom dictated. (I wonder if Jesus passed by the water bowl to spark a needful conversation.) Jesus responded by saying it’s foolish to cleanse the outside parts while ignoring corruption on the inside, such as “greed and wickedness” (vv. 39 – 40). Jesus further rebuked the Pharisees and teachers of the law for performing righteous acts while neglecting “justice and the love of God” (v. 42). God could see right past their self-righteousness to their dark hearts.

Serving God without nurturing a relationship with him—through prayer, Scripture study, worship, and the fellowship of believers—never worked out for the saints of old. Israel’s glory years during the reign of King Solomon went bust soon after his son, Rehoboam, inherited the throne. Rehoboam “did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord” (2 Chronicles 12:14). This was likely a sin of neglect since Rehoboam surely knew God’s greatest command to his people, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV). We allow His light to shine in our dark places when we seek Him.

“Light has come into the world,” through Jesus Christ, and we are justified—made right with God—by faith in his name. Our sanctification process, however, requires that we continually yield those dark recesses of our hearts to the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit. His work in us will bring effective remediation.

TWEETABLE
Shining Brighter in the New Year – Patti Richter on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Patti Richter headshot 2017-1nAbout the author: Patti Richter lives in north Georgia with her husband, Jim. She writes and edits global mission stories for The Gospel Coalition and her faith essays appears at BlueRibbonNews.com.

Patti is the co-author of Signs of His Presence—Experiencing God’s Comfort in Times of SufferingIt is the story of Luann Mire, whose godly husband was blindsided by an indictment due to a former employer’s tax fraud. The resulting prison sentence and restitution took the once joyful couple into a long season of suffering as they fought judicial tyranny. Helpless to change her situation, Luann endured a painful examination of her life and found God faithful to His promises.

Join the conversation: How do you “seek the Lord” as you walk with Him?