Monday, July 21, 2008

TAKING LIGHT FROM THE DARKNESS



My house is under contract and I am moving out one week from today. Some said it couldn’t be done, what with the down market and everything. It sold in just less than eight weeks, when there were 17 other comparable properties for sale on the two streets of my little subdivision. Some of those had been on the market for six months or more, and many had more features to offer than my place. After receiving no offers the entire time, I received two in one day. My realtor, a wise and mature Christian, said that was God’s way of saying, “It’s time for you to go now.” I give Him full credit, and much praise, for the sale.

Thus ends the Atlanta and post-mission field phase of my life and thus begins the move to Nashville and a new season of life. The last four years have probably been the most difficult of my life. Why that was true is the subject for another post. Today, however, is for thanking God and marveling over the light I am taking away with me from this dark time.

I have several friends who are also emerging from tough times, and we decided to do a mental and spiritual exercise while picking blueberries this past weekend. That was to review the life season now ending and list the eternal things God within us did during the dark time that are now indelibly stamped on our hearts, changing us forever. These will become the foundation for all we will be and accomplish in the next season.

Here are just a few of the items from my list:

1. I know now that God will never coddle my self-pity or unbelief, but as I rise above those temptations, he will always come through for me, in His way, in His timing.
2. I know now that I am strong. I may have wept and gotten depressed many times, but by God’s grace, I have walked an uncertain path that few would voluntarily walk and I am still standing. I am strong because God is faithful.
3. I know now that sometimes depending on God means depending on people. He has created us, not for dependence, but for interdependence, for give and take.
a. I’ve been humbled in that I feel I’ve been more on the taking end than the giving, but humility is a good thing. And the time will come when I’ll be the giver.
b. In people’s eagerness to provide for a myriad of my needs, I have seen the unstinting, giving heart of God.
c. My upbringing said, “Never trouble anyone for anything.” But this is only thinly disguised pride. I have learned to receive from others, and formed strong bonds of friendship in the process.
d. I have gained a greater compassion for the needs of others and better understand the value of timely and heartfelt encouragement.
4. I know that I could never doubt the existence of God. I suppose I could become self-deceived and somehow be convinced that God was mean or didn’t like us or some other untruth, but I could never be convinced that He is not there, because I have seen His presence and His acts so tangibly in my own life.

No matter what season of life you are in, I encourage you to try a similar exercise. You’ll be amazed at how far you have come and how great your God is.

Places to See