shadow

Holes in the Darkness

“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”Daniel 12:3, NIV

Scottish novelist and poet Robert Louis Stevenson spent much of his childhood bedridden due to a chronic lung disease. One evening, he watched a lamplighter light gas lamps on the street outside his bedroom window. When his nurse came into his room and found him with his face pressed up against the glass pane, she asked, “What intrigues you so?”  He replied, “I’m watching a man punch holes in the darkness.”

 

God punched a hole in the darkness at creation when He said, “Let there be light!” (Genesis 1:3).

 

Jesus punched a hole in the darkness when He came to earth and said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12).

 

Christ-followers punch holes in the darkness whenever we let our lights shine. “You are the light of the world … let your light shine” (Matthew 5:14, 16).

 

Years ago, I received a phone call from a distraught friend. Her three-year-old was afraid of the dark. All of their attempts to comfort their daughter had failed. “Please pray,” she said. “Every morning we find her asleep in the hall. I don’t know what to do.” We agreed to pray against her child’s spirit of fear and the next morning my friend called to say her daughter had slept through the night.

 

Later that day, I bought a package of glow-in-the-dark plastic stars and took them to their home. When we led her daughter into the pantry and shut the door, the stars lit up the small room. I told her to ask her daddy to put them on the ceiling above her bed, then she could look at them and know that Jesus watches over her and would keep her safely through the night.

 

Once again, she slept.

 

Days later, I received a note from her mother. “Every night our daughter wants to turn out the nightlight so that she can see the stars. She says, ‘I can still see them, Mommy!’ It’s been a good reminder for us that sometimes we can see God shining brightly in our circumstances and at other times we have to look for him a little harder, but he is always there.”

 

To glow in the dark, phosphorus stars need continuous exposure to light. Likewise, in order for our lights to shine, we must position ourselves regularly in the presence of the Light Giver. Then, when we step into someone’s darkness, we’ll witness God punch holes in it and fill their soul holes with light.

 

Blessings,

Starr

 

Missing Jesus

“After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.”
Luke 2:43 NIV

Mary felt a gentle tug on her tunic.

“Where’s Jesus?”

She stooped and looked into the large brown eyes of the young boy clinging to his mother’s hand and brushed his tousled hair from his forehead. “I’m sure he’s with Joseph.”

As she lifted her gaze to his mother, tears left tracks on her dust-covered skin. “Jesus continues to remind me that he’s twelve now—’almost a man.’” She stood, brushed her wet cheeks with the back of her hand, and forced a smile. “I suppose I must grow accustomed to him not wanting to tag along with his mother on our trips to and from Jerusalem. He’d rather join in with the banter of the men at the rear of the caravan.”

She reached down and clasped the boy’s hand then continued on the way with her friend.

_________

“Where’s Jesus?”

Joseph kicked a stone along the dusty desert road and chuckled at his friend’s question. “I’m sure he’s with Mary. As much as he likes to be with the men, he worries about his mother. He knows it’s difficult for her to accept the fact that he’s no longer her ‘little boy.’” He shook his head and sighed. “She’ll adjust.”

_________

“Where’s Jesus?”

Mary’s almond-shaped eyes bulged as she stared into Joseph’s anxious face. “Isn’t he

with you?

He swallowed hard. “No. I thought he was with you.”

Her eyes darted through the crowd as she pushed her way past the weary travelers

then pointed in the opposite direction. “Joseph, go that way. We’ve got to find Jesus. I

can’t believe he’s missing!”

_________

 

“Where’s Jesus?”

What’s your reply?

Stop and look around you. Is Jesus missing from your days? How long has it taken you to notice he’s slipped into the background of your activities? Can you even remember the last time you heard his voice?

If not, don’t fret. God’s not abandoned you. Although you’ve drifted, he’s never taken his eyes from you. There’s no place he’d rather be than in the center of your activity. He promises, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

Panic-stricken, Mary and Joseph returned to the place they’d last seen Jesus. Perhaps we should too. They found him in the temple sitting among the teachers discussing the things of the Spirit. Perhaps, we will too. When Mary asked Jesus why he had stayed behind, he replied, “Didn’t you know, I must be about my Father’s business?” Perhaps, we should be too.

Are you missing Jesus? When was the last time you opened God’s word, darkened the door of his house, or surrounded yourself with his family? Take time to be still and focus on his Word. Ask him to meet you there. You’ll find him—I promise.

Blessings,

Starr

 

I WILL TRUST IN YOU

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV

2017 was a year of milestone blessings in some ways. Tom and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary and went on the vacation of a lifetime to Greece and Rome. They were the good times. But, 2017 was also a tough year for the Lancaster household. We both faced a few health challenges, Tom had knee replacement surgery, and like you, we experienced a hoard of everyday challenges.

During it all the Lord reminded us that when life gets tough, He just wants us to trust in Him. As humans, we often forget that the Lord is sovereign. He knows our beginning from the end. He gives us promises that will lessen the stress of our load if we will just remember to trust in Him. He challenges us in Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV:

“6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”

I love it when the Lord gives me an answer in the form of a list! These verses do just that! He pointed out exactly what I needed to hear. Listen in on our conversation as I broke down those verses in prayer.

  1. God:Be anxious for nothing”

Brenda: OK Lord. Now that’s just impossible for us humans. How do I do that? God: “Keep reading Brenda”.

  1. God: but in everything by prayer and supplication” or as it says in the NLT, “Instead of being anxious or worried pray about everything.”

Brenda: “Pray. Just pray? That’s what people say when there is no other hope, isn’t it Lord? And what does that big word supplication mean? So, I proceed to look it up and see that it means “urgently requesting”. Oh, ok Lord. I can do that. I’m urgently requesting…

  1. God: “Tell God what you need”.

Brenda: Oh. But, You already know! But because you asked, I urgently need…

  1. God:Thank Him for what He has already done.”

Brenda: Oh yeah…I remember all those times before when You heard and answered my prayers. You will again, won’t you Lord? You will because you are faithful even when I am not. You can be trusted to do the best thing even though I may not recognize it at the moment. It will be the best thing in the long run.

  1. God: “Then you will experience peace which will exceed anything you can understand”

Brenda: Then when?  Oh Ok. I get it. After I’ve done as you asked above. I desperately need that peace, so, I’ll pray and urgently request until you answer. And I’ll trust in You until that time. Don’t let me forget Ephesians 3:20 Lord. You really can, and will, do exceedingly, abundantly; above all, I can even think to ask of you!

  1. God: “then I will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”.

Brenda: Ok then. You – Jesus – who is in my heart – You will guard my heart and my mind. You’ll guard it against the constant thoughts of what might happen. You’ll guard it against stress as I – as we as a couple – keep urgently requesting and praying about. You will guard our hearts from fear and stress as we communicate our feelings, fears and problems to you Lord. As we trust in you to bring the answers and solutions we need, in your timing, believing that you want the best for us.

Brenda: “Ok. Now Lord, please give me the memory and strength to keep on doing what you ask. The problem may not go away but I’ll be able to handle the stress that goes with it. And I’ll be able to wait on Your answer, Your wisdom and Your solution.”

Then He brought the powerful song back to my memory (pictured above).

That song is now my life’s theme verse. Thank you Lord!

Until Next Time,

Your Traveling Companion,

Brenda