Deeper, Closer, Wider
Another Saturday morning—and this one is a classic, chilly, brilliant, autumn eye-opener. Drinking my coffee, I stand at our sliding, glass door gazing out upon our backyard. It is chilly outside—and chilly inside, but I am absorbed by the scenery—the bright colors and continuous flow of downward leaves. It is both entertaining and mezmorizing.
To get a broader view I step one foot closer, and my nose is almost bumping the glass. The view doesn’t change much, but my experience suddenly does. The sunshine is now striking me directly, as I have moved out of my sheltered, shielded space and now am standing in the direct light. Very quickly the warmth of the sun chases away the chill I had been experiencing. It is a notable difference—a big deal.
So, I draw up my chair into the light, and resume my devotional time with God. My experience of the light becomes a metaphor for my time with God. I want to move out of the shadows and sit in God’s presence. I not only want to see and think more clearly, but I also want to draw more closely into God’s reassuring presence. I not only want to talk about Christ’s love and grace, I want to experience it. I want to welcome His love and live in it, so that it will flow through me.
Admittedly, sometimes I stay in the shadows. Sometimes by choice, sometimes by neglect, I fail to move out of the shade. Due to time pressures or lack of discipline, I am too busy, too rushed, too stressed, or too lazy. I hide or withdraw from God.
A month ago I came across a phrase in the Bible that I don’t think I have ever seen before. It is in the tiny book of Jude (so little that it only is one chapter), verse 21. It says: “…keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait…” (my wife assures me that phrase is not a recent addition, but has always been there all the time.) What I love about that phrase is that it challenges me to move into the light and love of God—and to stop slipping into the shadows.
Around Grace Chapel, we talk almost non-stop about “having a personal relationship with Christ.” That is a very important concept and belief for us. We don’t want to be substituting institutionalism or activism or anything else, for the goodness of a direct, personal, on-going relationship with our Living, Loving Lord. Today, make sure you step out of the spiritual shadows, and sit, stand and walk in the warm light and love of our God.