Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 8, 2020
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5
Over the past few years, I’ve come to realize just how privileged a life I have lived. Certainly I wouldn’t have thought this before, having grown up in a fairly normal middle class family living on a month to month budget. And yet, simply as a white male in America with multiple degrees, there are countless things that I simply take for granted day in and day out. There are assumptions about life and the world that I make that can only come from a place of privilege. Simply put, for most of my life I have not known what it means to be a person who sits in darkness.
As I wrestle with this, I increasingly realize that if I never confront this temptation or address it, there will be entire parts of my life of faith and the Lordship of Jesus Christ that I will never understand. Rowan Williams points out, “You might expect to find Christian people near to those places where humanity is most at risk, where humanity is most disordered, disfigured and needy.” As someone who has lived most of their life sheltered and protected from genuine need, I realize that I avoid chaos at all costs! I want my life to be orderly, predictable, safe and secure. And so when chaos comes, it often feels like I’m falling apart and threatened from every side.
Though this may be a temptation many of us face, it is not where the Lord wants us to stay. Part of what it means to be a disciple of Christ is to be so rooted in the love of God and the light that shines in the darkness that we don’t fall apart when chaos and disappointment and pain strike us. In fact, we are meant to have the strength to go into the darkness and be a source of God’s light and hope and healing for others!
During our holidays at the beach, my children love to go out to the water once the sun has gone down and hunt for crabs. We bring flashlights and a bucket and hope for the best. As a parent, I look with love on my children’s faces as they display equal amounts of delight and apprehension. They want to find the crabs, but also want to keep them at a safe distance, shining a light on them from afar. The worst-case scenario? To look down and discover a crab is right at their feet!
It is a child’s natural inclination to avoid places that make them feel disoriented, vulnerable, and uncomfortable. Yet I am convinced you and I are not that dissimilar from children in this regard. The Holy Spirit wants to make you brave. He wants to give you an unshakable trust in his care and protection for you, so much so that you are emboldened to shine his light into the darkness, even when it means we press into genuine places of chaos, brokenness, and need.
“The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).
Father, give us the courage to join you in places of chaos so that we might be agents of your healing, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Where have you kept chaos at a safe distance when the Lord might instead be inviting you to leave your comfort and join him in the work of shining light into the darkness?
Matthew 5:15; John 12:36-40; Ephesians 5:14
The Holy Spirit is inviting you to press into genuine places of chaos, brokenness, and need. #WisdomHunters #disciple #truth #Jesus
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