Dark Night and Day Light

Friday was supposed to be a quiet, get organized day.  And it just didn’t turn out that way.  Do you ever have those days?  They just kind of throw you for a loop and you end up in response mode all day and you just never get a handle on it when you’re in response mode.  So as the day drew to a close, night started to creep in and at 7 pm I still hadn’t started dinner.

That’s unusual for us.  I’m a 5:30 pm dinner girl if ever there was one!  I like to start dinner around the time a few of the older boys are arriving home and be done when my husband walks in.  The boys eat twice during that time.  They usually head straight to the stove to see what’s up when they come in, and either work off of that or make a quick snack of their own.  When dinner is done, if they haven’t headed off to another activity, they join the family.  Russell’s love our table time.  We love to all be together at the dinner table.  And even more so, the half hour after dinner when we all just sit and talk together. I once heard my daughter say she was asked if she likes being a part of a big family and what does she like about it.  When she answered, I was surprised that she said what she liked most was sitting around the dinner table together.  It’s a very relaxed time for us.

But when you haven’t started dinner at 7pm because the day has just gotten away from you, it’s time to order pizza.  And that’s the other thing that Russell’s love…pizza!  I drove to town for pizza from our favorite little family run pizza place.  They’ve known us and our family for the last fourteen years.  They knew when we were gone and out of state and just the boys were home, they knew when someone got a license and started coming in on their own.  When our daughter first came in, they said, “hey it’s a new one!”  As I left the dirt roads and turned onto pavement, I noticed how dark the night was.  The cloud cover was immense and the stars and moon were nowhere to be seen.  A barn on the corner was lit up with huge outdoor lights and it stood out in stark contrast to the dark night.

I wondered for a moment. . . This light, these lights in the dark, they weren’t originally there.  Do you ever have those “that’s not how God made us” thoughts?  Night was meant for rest.  Perhaps our whole lives are oddly backwards because we are busy much farther into the day than we are supposed to be.  We head out to shop, eat, participate in sports and other activities in the evening, right about the time we should be hunkering down to rest as God intended.  I often long for the life of an era that I don’t live in.  And yet, I don’t live like that.  I’m the first to stay up late into the night to accomplish tasks, or to take the kids to the many evening activities that they participate in.  It’s some of my most productive times at home even.  But so contradictory to how we were made.

After dinner, we took a walk in the dark.  As we walked, the clouds parted and the stars became apparent.  The moon was full and the front yard looked almost like the ground was glowing from so much light.  It was so magnificent to look into the 3D sky and see the patches of stars.  The girls looked up and ran in circles on the lawn pointing out the various stars.

And then we walked into our artificially lit home…major let down.  It’s funny how when we walk into a dark room we immediately turn the light on.  When the power goes out, we instantly light a candle or lantern.  We seem to crave light whenever it is dark.  Perhaps there’s a balance to strike between craving light when it’s dark, and being so incredibly comfortable, strong and protected that it’s alright to be in the dark sometimes.

Right in the beginning, Genesis 1:4, God saw that light was good and He purposefully separated it from the darkness.  The thought is interesting.  Something is never “sort of light”.  Light either exists in contrast to the dark, or it is just plain dark.  There’s no “grey” light. Even a little bit of light is often comforting to us in the darkness.   So if light is so comforting, why do we settle for dark.  We don’t in our homes.  Even in the middle of the night, we have little night lights to light our way around the house.  If we would use that same principle for every aspect of our lives, I think we’d live more comforted lives.  We settle for the darkness sometimes when we don’t have to.  If with every uncomfortable situation, with every trial or struggle, with every frustrated thought we immediately went to God, much like that light switch, we would receive immediate comfort and much needed light for our situation.  For too long though, we often wallow around in the dark waiting for the light to come on by itself.  Turn on the switch, seek Him out instantly, and you bring light to your troubles.   In John 8:12, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world, whoever walks in me will never walk in darkness…”   While he’s talking here about an eternal concept, you fully understand that light and darkness don’t actually co-exist.  You either have light, or you don’t.

Feeling muddled in a dark and dreary situation?  Stuck and feeling like there’s no answers?  Uncomfortable in your life?  Turn on a light switch!  He’s waiting…as soon as the light comes on, darkness is no longer dark.

Momma’s lead such busy lives.  Sometimes it defies logic and the things we need to do.  I hope I’m not alone in admitting to occasionally wearing the same thing a couple days in a row and not even getting a chance to shower in a day.  Two days ago was such the day.  I put on a new pair of jeans and got very busy.  Dropped my clothes by my bed that night and the next morning before it was even light, I grabbed the clothes and put on my coat and went out for a three mile walk with my sweet neighbor.   Praise God we always start out in the dark and she can’t see my lack of preparation in the early hours!  By the time we get back each morning the budding sunlight brings a new perspective and I quickly get back in the house before the rest of the world knows what I look like at that hour!  But after two days I got a chance to sneak into my bathroom and soak in my big corner tub.  I love to sink into the warm water and stretch out.  It is where I do all my reading, my studying and even my writing.  Anything that needs to be done with any meaning happens in my tub!  And that afternoon, it is where I suddenly realized that for the last two days, my new jeans had been steadily turning my legs blue.  As I soaked and scrubbed, the water began to take on the hue of my jeans as well.  I noticed that a darker blue ring was sitting on the tub sides as the dye from my jeans left my legs,  infiltrated the water and then onto the normally ivory tub walls.  I thought for a moment about the significance of this….not just that I need to remember to wash new jeans before wearing them…but how seemingly insignificant aspects of our lives can infiltrate our being and then leach on out to those around us.  How careful we must be to only take on what is good and right and uplifting.  How careful we must be to be aware of our own selves daily to make sure that we are clean and pure and aiming for a holiness befitting the daughter of a King.   I think of the scripture in Phillipians 4:8, “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on these things.” (NIV) .   Everything that we wear, inside and out, seeps out into our little world around us.  What we are, how we feel, all affects our household, our children, our friends and even strangers we come in contact with.  How careful we must be to only put in what is pure and lovely.  It’s often said, “Out of the mouth the heart speaks.”    Today…. today I will focus on only leaching pure and right, whatever is excellent to the space around me, whether it is filled with people, activities, or just the air I exhale.  Today, I want to leach holiness into my world.    Go, and fill your world today too.

Keywords:  Attitude, Holiness,