Monday, September 8, 2008

The Light

Well, as the little girl in Poltergeist once said...... "Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiim baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack".

For those of you who have been wondering why I have been MIA lately, I have to say that I am not exactly sure! What I do know, is that I have not felt God laying anything on my heart lately to write about. What I also know, is that God did not stop speaking to me, I just apparently was not listening.

On a normal day, although I am far from perfect and have many flaws about myself that I need to work on, I try to listen for Gods voice and I try to see Him at work. On some days, I receive so many ideas for devotions, blog articles, and writing concepts, that I can hardly keep up with them all! Sometimes I write on any piece of paper I can get my hands on so that I wont forget what God has told me! But lately, my slate has been empty.

I started praying about this over the weekend, and seeking Gods wisdom and closeness again, and I came to the conclusion that several things were probably the culprit for the current distance that I was feeling from God:

1) I had not been spending daily quiet time with God or much time in focused prayer for that matter, because of school starting back, the kids sports activities, crazy schedules, tennis, work, mounds of laundry, exercise, breaking up sibling rivalry, school drama, homework, ballgames, and so on.
2) my heart had been burdened because of health issues with my mom and my sister and I didnt realize what an emotional and spiritual toll it had been having on me
3) my household seemed to be filled with conflict lately, which had kept my spirit in a constant state of frustration and disappointment

This past Sunday, as my heart was heavy, I sat in the church pew, praying for God to give me a Word, any Word. I just asked Him to throw me a bone of some sort to help me draw closer to Him again; to see what the problem really was and how do I fix it?

As I listened intently and expectantly to hear what God was going to say to me, my answer came in the first question posed by my pastor: Are you a child of the light?

My first thought of course, was yes, I am a Christian, and therefore a child of the light. But if Im being honest with myself, am I really WALKING in the light? Am I BEING the light to those in my home and in my path? Am I LIVING in the light?

In that moment, God impressed upon my heart that although He shines His light upon me, I was not focusing on the walking, being, and living the light for Him. I had gotten sucked into the disease of busyness; had fallen into a habit of not giving my concerns fully to God or trusting His sovereignty and instead succumbing to worry; allowed resentment to build as I wished others would be considerate of my feelings; harbored frustration from feelings of being unappreciated; and had not been focusing on pursuing the fruits of the spirit in my own heart. These are all things which I normally try to succeed at, but I had fallen short due to my change in focus.

I realized I had temporarily taken my eyes off of Christ, and instead put my eyes on my problems, my feelings, my hurt, and my disappointments.

Walking in the light means that the direction of our life should reflect that of Christ. Being kind to those who are not kind to us. Being forgiving of those who wont even admit that they have hurt us. Seeking to please God, rather than be appreciated or acknowledged here on earth. Not being a "sin inspector" for others, but focusing on the areas that God needs to work on in me.

All of these things are only possible through the strength of Christ, and not in my own doing. But I can take comfort in knowing that God knows my heart. He knows I am a sinner, but He still loves me. He knows that my desire is to live a life that is pleasing to Him, even though I fail miserably. He knows that I trust Him, even when my human emotions cause me worry and concern.

Although at times, the darkness seeks to take over our hearts, the Light is more powerful. Darkness can only reign if we allow it to, but if we turn on the light in our hearts, then it will outshine the attempts of the enemy to lead us astray. As we focus on the Light, the darkness grows dim.

I turned on my little light again yesterday. I started a new bible study which I am excited about it; I forgave someone who said things that immensely hurt my feelings; I resolved to try to be more kind, patient and less critical; I made a commitment to keep my focused on Christ and not to seek approval or worthiness in the eyes of others. And most importantly, I am going to try to let my little light shine where ever I go. The key word here is TRY - but I can walk forward knowing that God is leading the way.

Ephesians 5:14 "for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."

Is your light on?

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11 comments:

Cindy said...

Hi Tracie,
I would love to think that my light is on and shining very brightly but I'd be saying something without much truth.
Lately I've just been in a funk.
Both physically and spiritually.
Thanks for the reminder tonight.
Blessings, Cindy

Joyful said...

My light has been dim lately by so many of the same reasons mentioned in your post...even right down to health issues with my Mom.

Your words have been an encouragement, and my heart is singing as I head to bed, "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine..."

For Him,
Joy

Anonymous said...

Tracie, I so needed to read about your Light shining for Christ. I have been so self absorbed this year because my daughter has cancer. I have gotten into a rut of self pity. My relationships with God and others have suffered because I have been too focused on myself and "why me" syndrome. I have asked God to forgive me and your article on letting the light shine for God has been a wakeup call for me. Thank you so much for this article and God Bless You and yours.
Elaine

Shirley said...

Thank you, Tracie. I needed to read this today. Thank you for the motivation and the encouragement and your honesty. I so appreciated your openness about yourself. I, also, had been resentful and feeling unappreciated and not seeking to please Him. I, too, am going to be trying to let my light shine for Him a little more each day. I know this is also what He would want so I know that He will help me with it. I truly do want to live for Him daily, all day.
Thanks again, Tracie.
God bless,
Shirley

Mari said...

My light hasn't been that bright but it's twinkling. I want it to be a full-on lighthouse kinda light though. Seems like God was calling a lot of to start shining either again or for the first time this past week. As always, He's up to something. I can't wait to see what it is!

ateachableheart.blogspot. said...

Tracie,
I love the way that you write. It is often like you are mirroring my own thoughts. Which is most likely how many of us feel and why God is able to use you so mightily. Shine away girl!
Blessings! Shanda

Ruth said...

Tracie,
It is so true, it is easy to let our focus stray to ourselves instead staying focused on God. I often let what others think dictate what I think about myself. Thank you for being transparent and sharing how god is working in you life.
In Christ,
Ruth

grey like snuffie said...

I found your blog through the Encouragement For Today devotion this morning. God is so merciful when we slide away for whatever reason. I had to laugh about you writing on any piece of paper when He speaks something to you. Sometimes I think I need a little notebook and pen on a string around my neck---seems I quickly forget things anymore. Appreciated your post today. So glad He sees the intent of our hearts, turned towards Him, even on the days we gaze elsewhere. Thankful to hear that you keep returning your gaze---you are His and you are loved.

Anonymous said...

This is my very first time of visiting your site and an answer to my prayer that I prayed just last night.

I asked God to show me what in my life was hindering me from moving forward in my walk with Him and my calling.

As I read this the Holy Spirit stirred up in me that I was letting the rejection from my husband govern my life instead of the Lord and the call He has for me. He reminds me to "Let God be God" and "cast my cares on Him" - not for the first time either- that my light can't shine as bright as we both want it to if the mantle is clouded with the soot of my continued thoughts of my situation with my husband and how "I" should handle it. "Let God be God"

Thanks again for your devotion to God and what He lays on your heart.

Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

Sonia

Anonymous said...

Tracie,

I have been in the same rut as you, busy with everything, except what God wants me to do. This morning in my quiet time, I asked God to make my light shine brighter for Him, and to not let me be in control of everything, but to give Him control so he could lead me. Then I read your blog, wow, How God leads us to hear and read encouragement from others. Thank you for being honest about struggling, it really helps others to see that we don't have to always be perfect, God loves us where we are.

Odessa said...

Hello Tracie:

Thank you for being so sincere! I have recently suffered from the feeling of rejection and persecution from my co-workers and family members.

There are times when pain and crises leads you to the cross..where you remember Jesus paid the price already.

This recent "light affliction" has given me renewed strength.

Continue to be a blessing to those who have decided they will not be separated from the Love of Christ<><