March 2022

Shadow and Light

Spring has officially sprung. My Cherry trees are bursting with bloom, the Blue Martins have arrived and staked out possession of the bird house, and the sheen of pollen is covering everything. Depending on where you live, pollen may not be a topic of conversation like it is here in the South. Where I live, we check the “pollen count” almost every day between March 1st and May 1st. If you do not suffer from allergies, please count yourself among the blessed and let gratitude fill your heart.

The irritation that some humans endure during this season of pollenation can be mitigated, however, by embracing the beauty of the fertile earth we inhabit. Without pollen (carried by wind, water, insects and birds) enabling the procreation of plant life, we would have neither the beauty and fragrance of the flora and fauna nor the critical element of oxygen so necessary to our bodies.

Here in the South, most would agree that a temporary allergic reaction (especially one that can be easily medicated) is simply a price we pay for the benefits of living in a lush and green environment. And truly, there are costs and consequences no matter which environment you inhabit, be it desert, tropic, or coastal. This side of heaven, there are constant evidences that we live in a fallen world.

Be not discouraged. In this life there are trials and tribulations of various kinds (James 1:2), and we know that we are simply passing through as we journey to our home with Him who has paid the highest price for our ransom and adoption. Here, we see glimpses of beauty and perfection, and if we are abiding in Him, we are able to see the glorious implications of His mastery even in the dance of shadows and light.

I am mindful of the need to let Him guide me through the shadows of my mind. It is so easy to second-guess my own thoughts and motives. I am grateful for the faith I have to come to Him with full assurance that He has made a way for me and justified my being here with Him. (Hebrews 10:22) I am aware that any blossom of life I have to share with those around me comes directly from His gracious light and heart of love.

Are you aware of shadows in your heart and mind? Do you sometimes struggle with self-condemnation? Will you draw near to Him and let Him comfort, dispel darkness and pour light on your way?

Let us pray together from the Word in Ephesians 2:4-10:  Lord God, You who are rich in mercy, because of Your great love with which You have loved us, even when we were dead and without life in our own sins, graciously made us alive together with Christ. And You have raised us up together and caused us to sit together in heavenly places. This is a grand mystery to us and fills us with wonder. And You did all this so that in the ages to come You might show the exceeding riches of Your grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  Indeed, by grace we have been saved through faith, which is the gift of God. Thank you, Father, that we are Your workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which You have prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Let Your Kingdom come to bear in our hearts, and let us now live lives that point to who You are, and let us bear fruit that is in keeping with your faithfulness, grace and love. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Until next week, beloved, abide in the True Vine and so bear fruit in keeping with His Kingdom of Light.

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