The three of us lay on a blanket in their room, Sleeping Beauty preludes playing in the background. The color of the stars on the ceiling changed from yellow to pink to green to blue, and I could see why the girls were in awe. This simple scene felt much more than simple; it felt magical. Ally, who has just learned to clap, would give a formal, ‘clap,clap’ each time the color changed; as if we were in an auditorium and she was approving each note sung. Ally and Bailey Grace did not let their eyes veer off for even a second- so captivated by the light. It was a sweet, sweet evening.
We are all drawn to the light. Whether it is in the sun rising, the stars in the night, the flickering of a fire, or the flame of a candle- each of us longs for the light among us.
I, for one, love candles. You can find them in almost every room of our home. There is something about the flame that is comforting and securing to me- consistent. constant. brightens even the darkest room.
“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God saw that the light was good.”-Genesis 1:3,4
From the very beginning, before He breathed us into life, the Lord provided us light. Although night is as bright as day to Him (Psalm 139:12), He knew in our humanity a distinguishing factor was needed.
“…because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”- Luke 1:78-79
Sin entered the world through man- yet God- yet again, He brought us the Light Himself, through Jesus. Our eternal Light in the darkness.
“Measure not God’s love and favour by your own feeling. The sun shines as clearly in the darkest day as it does in the brightest. The difference is not in the sun, but in some clouds which hinder the manifestation of the light thereof.”- Richard Sibbes
As I type this post, it is stormy and dark outside- the day disguising itself as the night. My spirit, at times, could resemble this paradox this week, as we await the girls’ surgery.
“The Lord is my light…He is my salvation and my stronghold…whom shall I fear?”-Psalm 27:1
The girls will have surgery a week from today to have gastrostomy tubes placed in order to help with feeding. We are not the first to have this surgery, nor will we be the last. We know we are doing the right thing for our family- both for our marriage and for our girls- and my soul is at peace. Yet, no mother births two beautiful beings, nourishes them at her own breast, only to say, “I really hope they get feeding tubes someday”. In ways, it feels unnatural. In many ways, it is. I am thankful for modern medicine and for the resources at hand. I have often thought, through tears, of the many mothers in countries I have visited that would not have this opportunity- how a simple cold could mean death for their little one. Yes, we are graced with this option. Yes, this is the best choice. Along with these truths engraved on my heart, I grieve, I mourn, and I hurt that this is His best for us; for I do not see fully from His view- my vision blurred by this flesh I reside in. Yet God.
“And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.”- Revelation 22:5
This God. This God that created the very light that brightens the sky- who provided the Morning Light for our souls- He promises that a day is coming where we say goodbye to night- both externally and internally. No more mourning, no more disappointment, our faith finally our sight. A day is coming when the suffering and the trials He has allowed will cease. No longer will we have to wrestle with trust-for we will see Him as He truly is and worship Him face to face. We will finally have the understanding that only He who sits on the throne holds. No more cancer. No more broken homes. No more suffering. No more feeding tubes. No more death. All under the perfect authority of the One who allowed it in the first place- the One who knew the exact reason why these things must be in the first place.
So, what do we do now?
How do we live today in a world that seems to carry unfortunate surprises around every corner?
How do Hugh and I walk our daughters to the operating room, blissfully unaware, and hand them off to a team of strangers, trusting that God’s plan for the surgery and the aftermath are perfect? How does a celebrity handle the cancer diagnosis of her mother? How does a friend survive the year anniversary of her baby son? How do classmates bury a friend gone, what feels like, too soon?
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”- James 1:17, emphasis mine
This life is not a game of Jeopardy. We are not standing in front of a wheel, choices and fates given sporadically, based on chance and the luck of the draw. No. There is a God in heaven who has already intricately determined the pieces of each of our lives. As we sang on Sunday,
“From life’s first cry to final breath Jesus commands my destiny”.
He doesn’t just let it happen- He commands it. He knows the story through and through and this gives us the confidence to trust His plans and trust His heart.
Each detail of the story He is writing in each of our lives is a good and perfect gift from the God who urges us to remember that the darkness of the room does not change the brightness of the Light.
If anything, it enhances it.
Friends, I do not know what your week holds- but I do know who holds your week.
Lord, today, may we each trust You to be the Light in each of our moments.
May we hold on with an unabandoned grip to the fact that Your Light shines more powerfully than the darkest night; and that You have defeated darkness itself.
May we rejoice even in our mourning, knowing that the Light within is faithful to shine, shine, shine.
And, when we cannot seem to find our way to You, may we trust that Your faithfulness exceeds our feeble, weak knees.
May we simply choose to fix our eyes on Light Himself, no matter how dim our own light feels.
May we look forward to the day where Light meets light and we can finally exclaim with full confidence,
‘It was finished, after all!”
To God be the glory.