Saturday, May 26, 2012

Out of Darkness

Out of Darkness

Read:  The Messiah will lead you out of exile and bring you through the gates of your cities of captivity, back to your own land. Your King will go before you—the Lord leads on.
Micah 2:13 The Living Bible

Winter can be a depressing time of year for many people.  The cold, the reduced sunshine, the long nights – all can cause us to want to just curl up and wait it out.  Often weather keeps people indoors more, and encourages solitary pursuits such as reading or sleeping.

The winters of our faith life can be much the same.  Snow and ice can cause our hearts to grow cold.  All around us looks dead, and we can despair that we will ever see life again. Perhaps we draw away from our church family, seeking to be left alone.  Sometimes the busyness of the Christmas season leaves us feeling drained – financially, emotionally, physically.  We just want to be able to hibernate and recuperate by ourselves.

And yet, drawing away from the encouragement and support of our church family is the worst thing we can do.  It is in their presence that we will be reminded that good weather is just around the corner, and we will be able to see that life does go on.

Just as underneath the snow, the grass is gaining strength for the hot summer ahead, we need to draw from each other to strengthen our faith walk.  Just as the bulbs are using up energy stored from last summer, we need to expend some energy to get past our lethargy, and push back into God's light.

We can overcome the desire to be by ourselves by spending time first with God, seeking His will, getting rejuvenated in His presence.  Then, when you are filled to overflowing with His love and peace, you will be able to give it out to others.

Our Scripture from Micah this week reminds us that God is there, waiting for us to follow, as He leads us out of the prisons we have all found ourselves in from time to time.  Micah says that these are "Our cities of exile."  In many ways, we have created and maintained this exile, and he says that God wants to lead us out from there, back to the place He has for us.

We know that everything God has is good, so this place where He wants to lead us will be good.  It might be a little scary at first, following Him when we don't know where we are going.  But we can be sure, just as the little crocus is sure, through the struggle to come up through the layer of ice and snow, that the Son is just ahead, leading the way, warming our world, and lighting our path.

Father, forgive me for withdrawing from you and from others.  Open my heart to Your light and Your love for me.  Give me a glimpse of what You have in store for me.  Amen.

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