Light of the World

By Darlene Franklin ~

What unexpected twists my life has taken in the nursing home. Sometimes I’ve soared.
Other times, it’s quite dark, like the day I returned from the hospital after a pulmonary embolism and acute respiratory distress.

I returned home, alive, but devoid of spirit. If I had acted on my feelings, I would have quit. Instead I sent up flyers of faith.

Things got worse. I forced myself to go to Bible study on Sunday in spite my fatigue. But when a fellow resident responded poorly to one of my comments, I took it as a personal rejection.

Things got even worse on Monday. Late that afternoon, I realized why I felt so dark.
I wasn’t suddenly too ill to be of any use or too sinful to be a blessing. The truth went far deeper and far simpler.

God’s up to something good—something glow-in-the-dark bright, and darkness wants to stamp it out.

My heart was dark only if I let it be. It had more to do with the darkness’s persistent rejection of God’s light, in the same way it has ever since He entered the world as a helpless baby.

God’s light flooded my soul, and I laughed out loud.

I still have a blood clot, COPD and Congestive Heart Failure. I won’t be ready to run a marathon anytime soon. But I’m still feasting on the memory of that laugh.

Half a century ago, I learned that nothing I do can ever separate me from God’s love. Lately, God is pounding another transformation truth into me. He will use me, as imperfect and undependable as I am, It’s never been about what I can do for God; it’s always been about what God can do through me.

God will accomplish His purposes for me. Period. There’s no risk at all to count on God. I don’t have to be perfect to have God’s favor rest on me.

Do I always see things that way? No, but I am learning to believe it is so by practice the disciplines below.

1. Spend time with God, in His word, and with His people, and agreeing with what they say about me, not how I see myself.

2. Choose what I fill my mind with, like music, and coloring Scripture verses.

3. Refuse to accept things as they appear. Know that God is still in charge given all evidence to the contrary.

4. Don’t give up prematurely nor move ahead without God’s green light.

5. Who I am is more important to God than what I do. He doesn’t need me, but He invites me to work by His side.

6. Testify often of who God is and what He has done.
The Light of the World called His listeners the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). He has placed us on a hill, where we cannot be hidden.

My wish this Christmas season is that God’s people will become a string of lights stretching from home to home across the nation and the world, the glory of God to our generation.

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