Saturday, August 27, 2016

Stay Close

My desire for this blog is to use it to exercise the gifts God has given me and to glorify God while I do that. Sometimes, he just makes it so very easy.

One of the last beach days of the summer led me to contemplate the way creation ministers to our souls. As I walked along the beach, holding my husband's hand, I was enjoying the sunshine but took notice that the warmth was not as it had been just the week before. The temperature was not any less but the strength of the sun was not what it had been. It made me sad to realize that we were moving further away from the sun; ushering in an impending change of seasons.

I felt I did not have to reapply my sunscreen as often as I had the weeks before. I didn't need to put up my umbrella to shield myself from the rays that had me protectively covering up just a few weeks before. I wasn't worried that I would end up with a blistering sunburn and I didn't spend the day fussin' at my family about needing to cover-up or lotion-up. I had the sense that the sun was fairly benign and yet, I know that to not be true, the ability to burn or cause damage was still a serious factor but I was not worried.

Why was I disregarding the sun's strength and power? The sun was not burning any less hot. It is still burning at 10,000 degrees (that's just the surface).

It had not gotten any smaller. it is still 864,938 miles in diameter. The sun does not wax and wane in strength. It does not change. What changes? Our location in relation to the sun is what changes.

We are no longer of the mindset that the earth is the center of all the things. We know that the sun is the center and we revolve around it, (thank you Copernicus). We move, it does not. It is the center. As the earth moves we get filtered sunshine, slicing through layers of atmosphere, that break down the effectiveness of its rays.

That got me to thinking about Jesus. I find it a funny blessing that our word for that burning, light giving orb that we revolve around or would die without is named the sun and its homonym, Son, fits that description (albeit an incomplete and inadequate discription), also. Jesus is that life and light giving source that we revolve around. He does not wax or wane in strength or ability,. He does not change. Without him we would perish.

Hebrews 1:3b "and he upholds the universe by the word of his power."
John 8:12 "Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”"
Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever".
John 3:16 tells us, "whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

And so, as I said good-bye to the beach that afternoon I was praising the Lord for this little nugget of truth he gave me to chew on. When I am spending time reading in my bible, seeking God and conversing with him in prayer on a regular basis, I am far more apt to be aware of his power. I run to him for everything from help getting a splinter out or finding my keys to praying for healing of someone chronically or terminally ill. Nothing is too big or too little for God.

But, I don't stay there. Sadly, I move. When I am not spending time with him regularly, when I get lazy or put other things before him I neglect to consider how powerful he is. I disregard that he sees everything. I fail to confess everything. I allow my exposure to Him be filtered through Christianese atmospheres like church or bible study attendance or doing "good works", ect.  I end up trying to fix things on my own and the spiral downward is ugly. I am left cold, naked like a leafless tree, and winter sets into my soul. But, it does not end there.

Praise the Lord, he does not leave me there. He loves me and is faithful to bring me to a place of repentance; a place where I sit in the light of the Son and grow.

 I, like Paul, long to be rid of this body of death that does nothing but wage war against my new identity.

As I left the beach that day I had a sentence running through my head.

My regard for the power of sun/Son is in direct correlation to my proximity to the sun/Son. 

It has blessed me and I pray it will bless you also as you contemplate the implications of it in your own life. Stay close.

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