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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Not the brightest, but the one which gets the job done

You don't truly value light until it is gone.  I guess I didn't fully appreciate it until my mother began to lose her eyesight.  Macular degeneration is a process of damage to the eye which gradually takes small portions of the eye's line of vision, increasing little by little until most of the line of vision is gone.  If you liken the story of Jesus healing the blind man in scripture to what my mother now sees, you will recount the man said he could see man as trees walking around.  Mom no longer sees our faces, doesn't appreciate the detail in a photo, and cannot see the home run her grandson hits in.  One of the things she most needs is "brightness" in her world because most of what she sees is shaded with much "darkness" due to the loss of light perception which comes with the disease.  Lamps of all sizes and shapes have been purchased to assist her in remaining as independent as possible.  Brightness of bulbs have been experimented with.  You would think the "brighter the better" - right?  Yet, sometimes the "clearest" light is not always the brightest - it is just the clearest. The same is true in our own lives - we often seek the brightest light, but what we need is the light which makes everything the clearest for us!

The Law of the Lord is a lamp, and its teachings shine brightly. Correction and self-control will lead you through life. (Proverbs 6:23 CEV)

We turn to the Word of God to gain light in our lives - for the things contained within the pages of our Bible are there to give not only light, but "path illumination".  One of the "clearest" lights mom can follow is the path laid out by the flashlight app on my smartphone!  It isn't a particularly bright light - for we have floodlight flashlights with brighter light!  It is the clearest, though.  It illuminates the path she should follow to take to the bedroom as we go through the house shutting off the lights behind us on our way to bed at night.  A tiny light can give so much illumination, while the halogen bulbs in the lamps around the house just don't cut it!  It is all about laying out the path she should follow - the smallest of light can do this quite well.  The same is true in our walk with Jesus - it doesn't take us knowing the entire Bible to know how to walk with Jesus.  It takes us using the smallest of lights to help guide our path!

Truth be told, we all possess a different "degree" of light in our lives - we have full access to the brightest and most brilliant of light, but we only use a portion of what we have access to.  Why?  Those small "particles" of light are sufficient to guide our path.  They provide enough "illumination" to help us correct our course as necessary.  They also "cement" our ability to exercise self-control in times when restraint might just not be the first reaction to whatever is presenting itself in our path.  God's wisdom contained in the pages of our Bible is a pretty big "meal".  Just like when we go to the restaurant with the buffet style line up of salads, appetizers, entrees, sides, and desserts, we want to partake of all of it!  We just cannot do so all at one time or we'd bust!  The Word of God isn't much different - it is best "consumed" in small bites, well digested, and allowed to bring enjoyment to our lives in even the smallest of ways.

Sometimes we get down on ourselves because we seem to only possess a small particle of light in comparison to another person.  Don't ever forget the warning to avoid comparison to anyone else.  It leads to such things as envy, disgrace, and even a little intimidation.  Neither of these is God-honoring.  We get green with envy because someone else possesses the knowledge we want to have - but do they put it into application in their lives - has it impacted their actions, influenced their decisions, and really changed how they live moment by moment.  We get down on ourselves because we sometimes don't get every step we take perfectly right - stumbling a little in the light we have.  Yet, if we are truthful about our walks - regardless of how much light we possess, we ALL stumble now and again.  We all stub our toes on occasion.  We just cannot let our stumbling cause us to "feel we lose grace" - they should drive us toward grace even more.  

Learn to walk in the light you have today.  It may not be the brightest or the most brilliant of light - but it is sufficient to begin to illuminate your path.  When you are walking along the path laid out by the light you possess, trust God to allow that tiniest of light to be both the light which will correct your course and give you the self-control to resist the temptations to give up or give in along the way.  In using the smallest of light you have, the path it illuminates will take you into brighter and more vibrant light in the end.  Just sayin!