As the world…and these United States…begin to open up from Covid 19, it becomes more and more apparent that “…(we’ve) not passed this way before.” (Joshua 3:4)
Experts are at odds regarding the order of lifting restrictions, the speed with which to proceed…even the paths to be taken. Not only are leaders and caretakers exhausted from overwork and decision making, but now they are overwhelmed facing a very unknown and uncertain future. If this is you please take a moment to be reminded of a truth:
“Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness.” Psalm 112:4
Putting all this in perspective is mind boggling …and sitting with it brings other Scriptures more into focus. What is seldom thought of in this centering process is the importance foot coverings would have had. And…what is pretty much overlooked is their “evolution” according to need. Did you know that ancient sandals (more like moccasins) dating backward from David to Moses to Abraham and beyond, incorporated a small spout type of receptacle in the toe area to hold oil and a small wick? They not only provided protection but also provision to see the next step. Literally, only the next step on the path was lighted.
Friends, be assured that our Father has given a lamp to light our next steps just as He ordered the footsteps of Jesus. Walk circumspectly with His Word and the Holy Spirit during these dark times as you seek the truth and make decisions…for yourselves, those you love, and those you are caring for.
And remember knowing only the next step may be all you need.
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105
Good morning fellow traveler,
Have you ever been starting out on a journey when the darkness seemed particularly intense or having to push through on a really dark stretch of road?
What was your response to seeing a warm and inviting light ahead?... approaching a house with lights on…bright and welcoming?... better yet, lights in the windows inviting you to warmth and safety?
Years ago, while having to attend some 8:00am seminary classes, a very early start to the hefty drive was required. I remember my need of strong resolution as I set out, especially during those icy winter months. There was a particular house on that journey that always flooded me with sense of safety and encouragement. I would round the bend and there it was: bright, warm, and beckoning with candle lights in the windows. I remember my tension always releasing with a sigh and my breathing relaxing with consolation and confidence. My sense would be:
I have always placed candles in my windows for that reason. That is the image, the message I desire to emanate because it’s Him, the Jesus I represent.
How about you fellow traveler? What has been your experience traveling this world’s dark roads? How are you placing lights in your windows to welcome the lonely, the least, the lost?
We’re on one of the world’s darkest roads now ….Covid-19. Recently a pic was posted on Facebook of a similar window with a similar candle …a reminder of an ancient practice of Christians signaling and welcoming fellow Christians to a safe shelter.
Put a light in your windows Christ follower…both actually and spiritually. Reach out in your neighborhood, grocery store, workplace -even digitally. Be that Christ light of peace, assurance, and safety to those who are frightened and lost. Be Christ as only you uniquely can. Be light and life to those around you, where He has uniquely placed you.
“Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.” John 1:4-5
Your light will not be overcome.
On the journey with you,
“But I trust in You, O Lord; I say, You are my God. My times are in Your Hand…” Psalm 31: 14-1
Greetings Dear Readers,
The grandfather clock that has graced our family for decades is ticking again, filling this new home with its comforting and familiar presence. It had lost its delicate balance in a move that recently took place in my life. What a joy to hear its beautiful chimes after several weeks of an odd empty silence. It’s amazing how loud silence can seem…forcing attention…inviting a pause…suggesting a sabbath to adjust.
Major change does require adjustment.
I’ve been pondering what that must have meant for Jesus’ loved ones and followers. Those three days and nights while He was in the tomb surely were the loudest yet most silent of times…the longest of Sabbaths. These weeks, my devotions have been focused on what it must have been like for them after Resurrection morning. I’ve lingered over those encounters…each filled with joy, bewilderment, wonderment, incredulousness, hope…yes…and adjustment.
Jesus was different as He spoke with Mary Magdalene in the garden, as He spent time with those on the Emmaus walk and meal, with those who touched Him and broke bread with Him in the upper room appearances, and with the disciples having breakfast with Him on the Galilee beach. I’ve been wondering what that must have been like for them.
I’ve also been wondering if Jesus sought out His mom. The Scriptures are silent but oh my…! If He did, what was that like for her?
And perhaps my favorite meditation has been His appearance to broken, weeping Simon who had betrayed Him. We know it happened for the Gospel attests to it:
“…The Lord has risen indeed, and appeared to Simon!” ( Luke 24:34)
Pondering how incredible that restoration must have been, I remembered times when I had experienced the Lord’s amazing love and forgiveness, and thankfulness flooded my soul.
As I’m writing this I can hear my grandfather clock ticking. An exciting new season has begun in my life. Balance has been restored and new rhythms are in place. Things seem back to normal…yet everything is different.
For the disciples, Jesus had risen from the dead just as He promised. But life certainly wasn’t back to “normal” after the silence of the grave.
How about you? Are you adjusting to any new normals or are you in a season of silence?
Where is Jesus in your life? How are you encountering Him? Remember, you may not recognize Him until He opens your eyes. Enter into His stillness and wait upon Him. Balance will be restored. The clock will start ticking again. He will lead the way.
It’s so good to be back! I’ve missed you all!
Speed and the expectation of instant results have become so normal in our culture, we think nothing of it any more. In fact, we can often be found rushing ahead of even our own selves. Let me ask you a question. How many times today…just today…have you rushed to complete a task or a project only to have to wait, because the process couldn’t keep up with you? I thought about that as I stood impatiently next to my little home printer… WAITING for it to process the “print” command I had just given. Yes, I did burst out laughing.
Seriously though, there’s another whole dimension to this. When I hit the print key on my laptop while sitting in the living-room, there was no doubt in my mind that the document would print in the office. I only had to walk the few steps necessary in order to retrieve it. I was acting on a reality that was not yet actual. There’s a word for that and an illustration of it in Luke 17:11-16. The word is prolepses, and in that passage Jesus commanded ten men to act proleptically.
“On the way to Jerusalem, He was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered a village, He was met by ten lepers who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ When He saw them, He said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed.”
In response to their cries for mercy, Jesus told them to do something outlandish. He told them to go and present themselves to the priests in order to be declared clean (Leviticus 14:2-4)…even though they must certainly have still born witness to the raw soars on their bodies.
What would I have done in that circumstance, in that time, in that culture? What would you have done?
The ten lepers were healed as they went. What was that like? Did they notice any change before they got to the priests? Then, how did they react? What would I have done? What would you have done?
“Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving Him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.”
Dear readers, is anything happening in your spiritual life right now in which the Lord is asking you to act proleptically? Are you being asked to act on a reality that is not yet actual? Or…have you ever been the recipient of such a gift from God? If so were you the one who turned back, praising Him, and falling at His feet?
Lots to think about the next time you hit the “print” button on your computer.
God bless you,
P.S. I stood waiting at my printer numerous times while the book, “Traveling Through Menopause: What’s God Got To Do With It?” was in progress. Check it out on the Surviving Menopause tab of this website; or click the following links and order directly from amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com (click here for nook book).
(Thank you, Gary Hoag, generositymonk.com, for introducing me to the word prolepses in the context of this parable. See generositymonk.com/meditations, August 23, 2018.)
It’s hard to believe that the first week of August is over and we have rounded the bend heading into the Fall season. Even as I write this I am sensing the change in the atmosphere as advertisers and merchants ramp up for the school days ahead. I’m actually feeling pressured in an abstract sort of way. Are you?
Awhile back we offered a wonderful incentive for new website viewers entitled “Seize the Time.” Because this resource may be a help in staying peaceful and unhurried in the days ahead, we are now making it available to anyone who would like to check it out. Just hit the tab below and remember the beautiful words of encouragement in Psalm 31: 14-15:
But I trust in You, O Lord; I say, You are my God. My times are in Your hand …”
Also, the book “Traveling Through Menopause: What’s God Got To Do With It” is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites. If you, or someone you know is starting on this journey it may be a great way to fill some of that time you’ll be seizing. Oh, and if you found it helpful, please write a comment for others to be encouraged.
Do enjoy the rest of your summer and God bless you!
I'm a practicing spiritual director, author, speaker, and teacher with a sincere desire to share all that the Lord has taught me. It is my passion to help you create a “sacred space” of deeper intimacy with Jesus.
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