JOY



JOY comes like the morning. It sneaks in while itís still dark, and casts a soft pastel shade of peace. As the colors fade, the blue light of day creeps in ever so slowly, and before you realize it, the sun is bright. Like the sun, the Son completely disperses the darkness.


Darkness is different things to each of us. And at times, the darkness changes for us. Joy, however, is always the same. Just as the Son is always the same! There is no darkness in our lives that the Son cannot dispell. And there is no darkness that can hide the Son.

A few areas of darkness might include:

  • physical pain
  • emotional pain or trauma
  • fear
  • experiences/memories
  • people, places and things
  • threats to our identity
  • sorrow
  • shame
  • distrust

We can describe our darkness in different ways, from a quiet darkness, to a raging storm. And likewise, our light may be the soft glow of a full moon to the blinding flash of lightening. For most of us, our childhood pains are but a soft darkness, with a few rain clouds thrown in. But for many of us, the childhood darkness was a full blown hurricane, tornado, and blizzard all combined. Is it not awesome, that God created the light to fit the darkness?

It takes lightening to brighten up the sky in a storm, and a full moon is fine for a quiet night. As I continue with this analogy, let me share some of my light and dark, as an example. I trust you will begin to think of your own light and dark , and begin to see in a new way, the marvelous working of God in your life!





Picture, if you will, a fourth grade child. She's very small for her age, and pale. Also in the picture, place a large, unhappy, single female fourth grade teacher. Now this lady had dreams of teaching English in High School, but, alas, as luck would have it - the only job she could find was fourth grade! So, she comes to a school with very small students, and is extremely because they are so childish. But, being the professional person she is, she is determined to shape up every one of them! SO, from the first day forward, this classroom was treated harshly and unkindly. There was no reason to be kind, for these children were very spoiled in her eyes. There were two children who especially annoyed her.....Billy, the baker's son (really!), and Glenda, the littlest one there....and probably the most immature. No matter that she was a full year younger than most of the others! Billy was obese in his teacherís eyes, and made her more aware of her own weight problem. The year passes slowly for all of them,....with many a recess missed for poor classroom behavior. Billy soon learned that if he brought treats from his dad's bakery for his teacher, she wasn't as hard on him that day. Glenda learned that she had to shut up to not be noticed by her....but, unfortunately, Glenda was very social! Consequently, she spend many afternoons in the cloak room in "solitary confinement." Only the teacher and Glenda knew that she was never in the cloak room, but was instead locked in the dark supply closet. I cannot vouch for Billy's interpretation, but to me, his darkness was the teacher's disdain for his appearance. His light was the fact that his own father prepared the way of redemption for him.  He would bake donuts, send some in Billy's lunch, and Billy could place them as an offering on his teacher's desk.  And, he was rewarded for that - a day of peace- a lighter day. 

 Glenda's darkness was not only figuratively speaking, but also literal. The supply closet was very dark!  But, in that darkness, she discovered she knew how to see Jesus there. She would talk to Him, and whisper-sing the songs she knew about Him. And as she did, the darkness became like a comforter, and she felt safe and warm. The horrible woman who hated her was locked away from her, and she was all alone with Jesus.  No amount of artificial light could have shone as much as the one Jesus provided for her!!

Now the light Glenda experienced became a part of her - a resource she could call upon again and again as needed. There would never be a place in her life where she could not find Jesus.  The storage closet that had started out as a punishment, became a blessing.

And that is how God works! He takes our pain, our troubles, and turns them into gifts, blessings, and even avenues of praise to Him. As Joseph told his brothers, satan means things for bad...but God means them for good. Remember, He is always in control, and nothing comes our way without Him first giving His permission.  That means every dark time we experience is in His plan ......that it will eventually become something for our good.

How then, do we determine where the darkness ends and the light begins? In Glenda's case, the darkness ended when she realized she could talk to Jesus.  The light grew as she experienced Him there.  And so it is, in every instance....when we experience God, there is the Light.

 

Be Light



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