Illuminate me

Early this morning, I peered through the windows into a dim backyard. The trees were shadowed, leaves dark and devoid of color. The shadows seemed to tell lies, holding back the glorious hues of the day before. Each leaf contained brilliant golds, oranges and fiery reds — yet, in the dark, they stayed silent shades of brown.

Then, the sun rose.

The higher the sun, the more pervasive the rays of light, and the more vibrant the world became.

Sunshine princess

The sunshine brings a smile to the earth, and yesterday to my kids and I as we crunched the leaves with our feet leaping to catch a frisbee beyond our grasp, as we bounced even higher on our trampoline, and as we wondered at this world God created. It’s the sun that showcased the beauty surrounding us.

John chapter 1 describes the Light coming into the world, to change us and allow us to see.

There it was–the true Light [the genuine, perfect, steadfast Light] which, coming into the world, enlightens everyone.

All of us were created with vibrancy that is only revealed through the light of Christ. We need His Light to shine onto our sin-covered lives and drive out the darkness. And, we don’t just need a little light. We need the full-force strength of God’s redemptive grace illuminating every shadow. 

I will never be all that I am intended without all of Jesus saturating every part of who I am. It’s only then that His full beauty can be seen in me.

Join me in this prayer, based on Ephesians 1:17-19:

God, would you give me a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You? Would You enlighten the perception of my mind so I may know the hope of my calling, the glorious riches of the inheritance You give me with all others who follow You, and the immeasurable greatness of You power to us who believe — all this according to the working of Your vast strength? Amen.

Shadow or sky?

As I was driving the kids all over after school this week, my eyes locked onto our dirt road. The dust clouds were billowing behind us, and suddenly a shadow darted out in front of me. I did a double take while slowing down quickly. It passed by again, and I realized it wasn’t what ran across the road, but what had soared above us.

Right there in that moment, God unfolded a parable to illustrate what keeps me from seeing Him. I am staring at the shadows instead of lifting my gaze to the sky.

For most of us, life seems to hurdle forward, and we barely hang on. There are places to be, people to see and responsibilities to complete. So, we focus on what’s right in front of us, hoping that we can handle it all. We drive fast with our eyes glued to the road, and sometimes miss all the beauty around us. We are committed to the task and get frustrated with the detours. If God is at work, we don’t see it because we are too busy balancing, managing and surviving.

All we see are the shadows of what could be as we speed by, late for the next appointment.

We catch the vestiges of grace, instead of basking in it. We strain to hold onto peace rather than savoring what Christ has freely extended.

We work hard for God and rarely just enjoy Him without agenda.

What would we rather have: the shadow or the sky?

I want to experience God as fully as I possibly can in this life. Why should I be content chasing shadows when I can thrive in the vibrancy of knowing my Jesus?

A morning walk with my kiddos

A morning walk with my kiddos

Instead of rushing to our lists of chores on Saturday, the kids and I decided to take a long walk. We enjoyed talking, absorbing the scenery and feeling the breeze swirl around us as we pretended to be airplanes taking flight. Every step we took, Jesus was there with us, prompting our conversation and directing our eyes. We swished the clouds with our hands and collected red leaves and pine cones. We marveled about how amazing God is, and how much we can look forward to by His side.

I know not every day will be like that. But if I’m going too fast and my schedule is so full that I don’t spend time with Jesus and treasure the family He has given me, I am missing what’s most important. I don’t want to just catch the shadows!

Consider your line of sight this week, and how fast you are traveling. Don’t let the goodness of God blur on the side of the road. Stop pushing the speed limit. Slow down and really see Him.