“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
‘Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’”
The other day when I picked up my nephew from school, I asked him how his day was. He replied, “It was okay, until recess.”
“What happened at recess,” I asked.
“Well, I just wanted to be in the shade. But when I was in the shade, the sun kept trying to get in!”
I laughed at his response, and we quickly transitioned to another subject about cobra snakes. But as the days have passed, I’ve been reflecting a lot on what he said. Out of the mouths of babes, for sure. When we want to stay in the shade, the Son keeps trying to get in.
I often isolate myself when I’m going through something difficult. I want to hide in the shade and keep my thoughts and feelings to myself. I don’t want to be around anyone else, I just want to be alone…in the dark. Held captive there, by the prince of darkness, I allow the enemy’s lies to penetrate my heart and steal my hope. I wallow in the shadows, not wanting to hear the truth or see the light and it’s a very lonely place. Slowly, it begins to steal and destroy my being, and I feel as though I’m dying.
Isolation is a choice – even if done subconsciously. When we isolate ourselves, we make a point to separate or distance ourselves from others. This kind of isolation is very different from the desolation Jesus often sought to pray. Jesus distanced himself to hear the Father, to meditate on His will, to seek guidance and reassurance. His desolation was an act of dependence – dependence on the only One who knew his heart and his purpose – his sanctuary. The isolation I’m referring to is not dependent, but independent. It forces us to exist alone. This act of isolation is more like a prison than a refuge.
When we remain there, we become more self-focused. We let our thoughts run rampant and negative ideas and words spew forth. Most times, when I’m in this place, I try to avoid the light. The sickness inside of me convinces me to stay in the dark, and avoid the light.
But there is hope, even here. You see, when we find that kind of false security in our sickness – Jesus is the only one not afraid to reach into the shadows to reach us. He moves into our darkness, and exposes our ailments – not to embarrass or shame us, but to heal us. Sometimes, His light shines from others who are praying and reaching out to us. And sometimes, His light penetrates our souls, so that the only way out is to accept and trust Him. Because even though we try to “hide” in the shade, the Son is alwaystrying to get in.
I don’t know where this message finds you today. I don’t know if you are the one hurting in isolation, or if you are the one Christ is calling to reach out for others. But I know our God is greater and bigger than any fear we face. I know that while our circumstances and situations seem grim, it never changes who God is, or who we are in Him. I am so grateful for the Light and truth He brings.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for reaching out to us. Even when we are lost and broken, you never give up on us. Please Lord, don’t ever stop exposing truth in our lives. Help our ears and eyes to be open to those broken around us, and grant us the courage to step out in faith when you call us to do so. Be with those who feel alone, Jesus. Please continue to express your love for them in ways that reveal to them it could only come from You.
I ask all of this in Your Holy and Precious Name,