Thursday, December 24, 2015

On Looking for the Light

There was a song I heard sung by a trio in our church years ago.
It was called, "I Have Seen the Light"

The lyrics were amazing...
"I have seen the light, shining in the darkness, bursting through the shadows, delivering the dawn"


Lights always bring a bit of wonder to any place.

We just happen to live near a neighborhood that is immersed in lights at Christmas.  
The people who live there make the streets around them glow with lights of every imaginable shape and color.

We love to watch them as Christmas approaches and they begin to decorate.

They put weeks into getting all of the lights put in place for the enjoyment of the visitors who come to ooh and aah over them.  

And boy do they come!  

The streets are filled with cars slowly moving through the neighborhood as people amazed at the lights continue to come year after year.  Each year bringing more visitors than the last.

Light creates a unique beauty whatever form it takes; in the neighborhood displays at Christmas to the Creator's own display in sunrises to sunsets.

In our own house, we are situated in a way that light coming into the front door acts as little prisms of light, casting miniature rainbows across the walls and floors of our entryway.

It's fascinating.

Everyone in our house has found some delight in catching sight of the rainbows.

And holding them in our hands.

But the light always reflects back to the One who is the Light.
And the giver of light.

To Jesus.

In the past few years, I have taken pictures of light shining in places, and have noticed something.

Sometimes light is the most beautiful when it is framed in shadows.

Light with shadow.

Brilliant light framed by darkness.

Shadows do not mean that there is no light.  

Light is there or there would not be a shadow.

And in our own lives, when it seems that God is not nearby, we know He is.

Even when we don't see Him.

We know He is because He said so Himself.

He said He would never leave us.

His name, Immanuel, it means He is with us.

But when we walk through a shadow, it seems like we are walking alone in the darkness.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..."

Many (actually, more than many) years ago, my husband and I, in different countries at that time, discovered the same author; Oswald Chambers. 

One devotion in particular spoke to us both.

It was about times of darkness in our lives.

Treasures of Darkenss - Chambers
Isaiah 45:3

It is the glory of God to conceal His treasures in embarassments, in things that involve us in difficulty.  I will give thee the treasures of darkness.  We would never have suspected that treasures were hidden there, and in order to get them we have to go through things that involve us in perplexity.  There is nothing more wearying to the eye than perpectual sunshine, and the same is true spiritually. The valley of the shadow gives us time to reflect and we learn to praise God for the valley because in it our soul was restored in its communion with God. God gives us a new revelation of His kindness in the valley of the shadow.  What are the days and the experiences that have furthered us most? The days of green pastures of absolute ease? No, they have their value; but the days that have furthered us most in character are the days of stress and cloud.

I love how he said, "God gives us a new revelation of His kindness in the valley of the shadow"...

The treasures of darkness.

His goodness in our hard.

We need to know He is near to us these days.

His light is needed in our world.

And it is here.

We see it in the light of angels bringing the good news to shepherds.

And in that manger in the dark street where a baby was laid...

And in the words of the songs of Christmas.

"Long lay the world, in sin and error pining... Till He appeared!

And the soul felt its worth..."

He came ... and showed us that we have worth!

"A thrill of hope!  The weary world rejoices!"

"Fall on your knees!

Hear the angel voices!

O night divine...

(video clips from The Nativity... song by Sara Groves "O Holy Night")

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