Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘darkness’

Without Christ…

Today I want to share with you some choice thoughts from the Puritan writer John Owens, as quoted by Tim Challies on his blog. Note the startling implications following each positive statement.

A list of seven things that Christ is:

  1. He is the Way; men without him are Cains, wanderers, vagabonds:—
  2. He is the Truth; men without him are liars, like the devil, who was so of old:—
  3. He is the Life; without him men are dead, dead in trespasses and sins :—
  4. He is the Light; without him men are in darkness, and go they know not whither:—
  5. He is the Vine; those that are not grafted in him are withered branches, prepared for the fire:—
  6. He is the Rock; men not built on him are carried away with a flood:—
  7. He is Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the author and the ender, the founder and the finisher of our salvation.

It reminds me of an old song from the ‘70s:

Men are trying to find the answers to the questions that never cease
They find in life there’s something missing; they are looking for release
And the way to peace.
    He is the way; without Him there’s no going
    He is the truth; without Him there’s no knowing
    He is the life now and eternally
    He satisfies the searching heart and fills men with His love so rich and free!

The Christmas Promise

While other houses around here are sporting fall and Halloween decorations, we got a jump on them and put up Mom’s Christmas tree already!  This is something I thought I could do for her during my short visit, but it does bring a sense of excitement to see it shining there in the dark of the early morning.  Another part of Christmas that I look forward to is listening to Handel’s “Messiah,” even if it’s only on a CD.

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Part of that musical work is based on Isaiah 9 which I read this morning.  The light shining in darkness is even more poignant as the world grows dark around us and we long for the light at the end of that tunnel. 

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine…
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.
 

In my Bible I have written “Jesus!” in the margin.  It’s a very familiar passage which we associate with Christ’s birth at Christmas.  But the next lines have definitely not yet been fulfilled:

The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice
     from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies
     will make this happen!

Oh, how I long for this part of the prophecy to be fulfilled!  Jesus Himself will rule singlehandedly with true peace, justice and righteousness.  No more scam, scandal, selfishness, secrecy, oppression, violence, deception and all the other things that characterize government and society today.    I am committed, by God’s grace, to stay the course.  Not to give up in despair or to give in to the forces of evil (even those in sheep’s clothing).  It will be worth it all when that glorious kingdom arrives!

Maranatha!  Come Lord Jesus!

Sitting in Darkness

This morning we were sitting in a hospital hallway, waiting to see a doctor in his office.  I was reading and my husband was doing a word puzzle, when suddenly someone turned on the light.  Wow!  We had no idea how dark it had been before. 

Do you suppose people “sitting in darkness” spiritually may be totally unaware of the light they’re missing?  Getting along okay, satisfied with their lives, oblivious to what richness, satisfaction and delight they’re missing?

I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest.  John 10:10

The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light.
And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow,
     a light has shined.”  (Matthew 4:16)

Maranatha!  Come, Lord Jesus!

Banana Smiley

This morning at breakfast we were discussing about how one should live when darkness is all around—when I looked down into my bowl and found a banana smiling at me!  Yes, and here it is.  Was it God’s reminder to be joyful in hope?  I think so.

Banana smiley face

The darker the night…

A diamond is most effectively displayed against a black background. 

Total darkness is needed in order to see the stars in all their glory.

This gem shines in the center of the bleakest of books, as Jeremiah wept over the total devastation of his beloved land:

The faithful love of the LORD never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

And Habakkuk’s triumphal climax arises from a scenario of total ruin:

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
  (3:17-18)

Lord, help me to remember that my little candle can make a bigger difference as the darkness closes in around us.  May it shine brightly until the dawn of Your return!

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