After All

This morning, I came awake with these lyrics in my mind from Meredith Andrews, Not For A Moment (After All)…

After all You are constant
After all You are only good
After all You are sovereign
Not for a moment will You forsake me

… And it got me thinking about that phrase, “After All.”

After ALL.
After everything that was and is…
After everything good and bad…
After everything known and unknown…
After all my bad decisions and poor choices…
After all the beautiful and ugly things in my life…
After I failed Him more times than I can count…
After I turned my back on Him, God will not abandon me, even for a single moment.
After all, He is constant as the sun rising in the morning.
After all, He is only good and in Him there is no darkness at all!
After all, He is the supreme Ruler of my life and my heart because, After all that, I don’t have a choice.

Click here to listen to Not For A Moment.

The featured image courtesy of Carol Mattingly, my aunt, who this moment is undergoing radical cancer surgery. Please pray for God’s healing for her.

Go Light Your World

Candles and Christmas go hand in hand, don’t they? We burn those jar candles that smell like balsam and fir trees or peppermint and chocolate. We put those electric candles in all our windows through the holiday season. We give them as gifts. I recently saw a sale on Yankee Candles… Five of the large jar candles for $50!! (Lots of folks excited about that one.)

At church, we have an advent wreath with candles to light for each Sunday during the advent season and a big center candle to represent the light of Christ. We use candles in ceremonies like weddings. Our church has a special candle-lighting on Christmas Eve. Everyone has a candle lit and they turn off the electric lights… It’s stunning and beautiful and moving.

I woke up with Chris Rice’s song in my head this morning, Go Light Your World. Here are some of the lyrics, but please click here to listen.

There is a candle in every soul
Some brightly burning, some dark and cold
There is a Spirit who brings a fire
Ignites a candle and makes His home

Frustrated brother, see how he’s tried to
Light his own candle some other way
See now your sister, she’s been robbed and lied to
Still holds a candle without a flame

Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the helpless, confused and torn
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world

You know how when the power goes out in a storm, and you light one little candle just to be able to see… That one little candle can light the entire room!!! A little light goes a long way. And one little candle flame lights another and another… The way I see it, our “candle” is our smile. Our hug. That note of encouragement we write. That prayer we send up that he never even knew about. Our gift to the Salvation Army angel tree. The shoebox we packed for Operation Christmas Child. The meal we took to help out a little. The sandwiches we helped make at the soup kitchen. The hand we offer any time, any place. And so. Much. More.

It’s Christmas! Be the hands and feet of Jesus. Go light YOUR world.

Shine

This blog is supposed to be about the songs in my head, the songs that God sings over me as I sleep, the songs that my spirit sings as praise to God while I sleep. Sometimes, the song in my head when I wake doesn’t match the way I feel, the heaviness in my heart, the sadness in my soul. But I think the bottom line is to live my purpose in life regardless of my feelings or my heavy heart.

The line in my head this morning is from a Casting Crowns song called Thrive. “To know you and to make you known. We lift your name on high. Shine like the sun. Make darkness run and hide.” Maybe this song is to remind me of what my purpose in life is about… To know and love God. To make him known to others. To bring a little bit of light into my world and push back the dark, even if for just a little while. Even in the middle of a heavy heart. Even when I don’t “feel” like it.

Matthew 5:16… let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

It’s not about me. So no matter what is going on in my life or my world, my job is to love and care for others. To shine a light. Be the hands and feet of Jesus in this dark world so others can see a tiny bit of God’s glory. The funny thing is that, when I do shine a light, when I do love on other people, when I do stop thinking about myself and start thinking about others, my heavy heart gets lighter! My darkness takes a step back to make room for fullness of God’s glory.

Featured image: the sky over the Gulf of Mexico last year on vacation. I love how it looks like the darkness is in retreat.

Go here to listen to Thrive by Casting Crowns