Today’s Scripture is: John 3: 16-21 (MSG) 16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
19-21 “This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.”
I copied The Message version of this scripture down, because I like the words that are used to describe the vastness between living under the freedom of the Good News of Jesus as opposed to living enslaved to darkness without Him.
Pastor’s message last Sunday reminded me how bent toward darkness we are... just naturally. Why does depression and darkness so quickly overtake me when God so lovingly gives me a way out every moment of every day? Why is it so hard to live under that stream of light that God always has available for me? And why, even though I’m a Christian and love the Lord, do I want to run for the darkness when things get tough? I really don’t understand why there seems to be comfort in hiding or escaping, rather than running to the Light.. to the One who can truly save me from the depression, or sadness, or problems that I face. Does anyone else know how this feels? Then I become even more ashamed because as a Jesus Follower, I’m not epiphanizing (pastor’s word) anyone... I’m not a light shiner-oner to those around me.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot this week, because of Pastor’s message and because it’s been a tough week for me spiritually. There’s been things happening in life and family that are challenging. I haven’t lost faith or trust that God is present, working, intervening, or loving - I’ve just not felt it. I guess that’s where the trust comes in.... it’s not about feelings - it’s about faith. But even in the midst of the faith - I’ve felt a desire to run and hide... to not pray... to not read the Word... to not worship. To me... that’s darkness. I know God doesn’t want me there, hasn’t put me there, and wants me in the light. And in reality as I’m typing and processing this (with those of you who are reading), I know that His Light... the Light of Life and freedom from darkness, lives IN me. I don’t have to seek it out or find it... I HAVE it. I think it’s about me accessing it.. surrendering to it..not fighting it. That actually makes some sense to me - stop fighting, stop resisting, relax, open up, receive the Light and all that comes with Him.
I want to work and live in truth and reality that welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.” Lord please help me to surrender to You.. to Your Life and Light that lives in me.. free for me to receive every moment. Help me to resist the temptation to run to the darkness, to hide, and to resist the light when I need it so badly. Forgive me for being weak in this area, and thank you for your forgiveness. Teach me to turn from those tendencies and to live with openness and availability and a “Light’s ON” life. Amen.
Thanks for letting me be vulnerable today. How did this scripture speak to you? I would love to hear your thoughts....