The Light

That’s me, called to be the light; several other things, like salt, I can be pretty salty, but that is a work in progress. I say that facetiously because honestly, I am or I am not, but I’m not trying to be. Right now, at this place in my journey, God has used a few people to give me some profound wisdom to help me move forward; “I am Free.”  That sounds so elementary when I say it out loud, but the truth is I have never been afraid to let my light shine, but I am worried about going back into the darkness. Here it is 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. My problem is not being light; it is living in the light. That deserves an explanation! I have been a follower of Jesus for at least twenty-two years now, and along the way, I have grown, stumbled, fallen flat, and grown some more, but for the most part, I have been looking at this wrong. Years ago, I had a conversation with a wonderful lady that has long since passed; as I told her my story, she stopped me and asked a question. I had a drug problem in my former life and had gotten to a place mentally where I didn’t want to live anymore. That was not a passing thought, but for months a constant battle of thinking about what would happen to my sons until my mind turned to how I could take them with me? It was a desperate screaming at the ceiling that brought my rescue, and I don’t ever want to get over it. I say all that, so the question has context; my sweet friend ask me if I was still in counseling or therapy for my addition? My response to her was so sudden that it surprised me. “I am a new creation, old things have passed away and behold all things have become new.” I have never even considered myself an addict from the day I read that verse; that is no longer who I am. I love that, and it is a constant place of worship and thankfulness for me, so why have I not applied that to the rest of my life? After twenty years of faithful church attendance, some excellent sermons, years of Bible college, and this internal nagging that something is missing, today I see that I have only applied that verse to the “big” sins. I am not a sinner saved by grace; I’m a child of God transformed by grace. Free from all bondage of sin and shame yet always excusing myself with “just a sinner saved by grace” statements. Being a sinner incapable of perfection is the thing that holds me back from being the reflection of my Savior. Was the cross enough, or do I need to work to overcome my sinful nature? What a practice in futility for a person with a track record of “epic fail.” The excitement of understanding that simple shift in my thoughts has changed the trajectory of my future. There is no longer a dark foreboding swamp in front of me because everywhere I go is light. Looking back is only to be reminded of His faithfulness, and looking forward is only to be reminded of the hope that lives in me and shinning where I am right now is His reflection of that faithfulness and hope to others. What a mighty God! I think I’ll go swimming! He calls me beloved!

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