Recently I was studying ostriches with my son for homework. We learned about these massive 7-9 foot animals and I couldn’t believe how fast they run (43 miles an hour) or how one of their kicks is powerful enough to kill a man or even a lion. My question after reading all these facts was simple- given that it could out run or kill its predators why would the ostrich hide its head in the sand? They actually don’t hide their heads in the sand (so many years of cartoon knowledge down the drain!). An ostrich that fears a predator attack will actually lay its long body down flat on the ground and try to blend into its surroundings.
I began to think of myself as a Christian, of God’s call in my life and the following bible passage.
Ephesians 6: 10-17
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Am I an ostrich? Do I as a Christian try to blend into the world around me so that I can avoid being singled out? Do I have opportunities to shine God’s light but put the dimmer switch just so that I’m not criticized for being thought too fanatical? (To be honest I am a fan of God.)
If we truly “dress” ourselves daily with the armor of the Holy Spirit what is there to fear?
I can think of a long list, family members, co-workers, even strangers on the street will make my list, as well as my own fear of being too holy. I recently asked the teenagers in my religion class who wanted to be a saint and only one hand went up. We want to get through life playing the middle and make it into heaven at the end. Nothing heroic, nothing that stands out or will be spoken about, nothing that can be challenged; as if we are on a reality TV show, you know the mentality play the middle and slide into the end.
I wish that placing God’s armor on daily was a visual thing. Maybe I would be more easily reminded of the weight of grace I carry daily. Our challenge as Christians is to be Christians at all times. During gossip, off color jokes, in the movie theater, in our music and buying choices. Our society has slowly removed God from our vocabulary. Do we say bless you or God bless you and are we brave enough not to say “Oh my God” and keep the sanctity of His name alive. I pray that I can keep the truth of God’s word in my heart at all times, so that when called upon I may not lay down like the ostrich and try to blend in. With God’s grace and armor I pray that I can stand and testify to the truth in my daily life.
John 1:3-5 Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
How can darkness understand light?
For years I had been hearing about Low Laser Light Therapy, I spoke to one of my doctors who truly believed it was more hocus pocus than good. How can a part of your body that was never made to be exposed to light, respond to it? A few years later he was using the laser light therapy with lots of success. When I asked him why, I was blown away by his answer. You see our innermost cells were created to be receptive to light. These cells in normal circumstances would never be exposed to light, so why do they have receptors for light, and why are they being healed by laser light? Scientists tell us that it’s because light is energy and when these cells receive the “energy” they need they can start to heal, but they don’t know why the receptors are there in the first place.
By the time he finished his explanation I couldn’t stop smiling. You see as a person of faith, I know that we were created in the image and likeness of God. His very word tells us that He is the light of this world (John 8:12.) My every fiber is made to respond to Him. Not just spiritually but physically as well. I thought of how many things I carry in the inner recesses of my heart, that need healing. I thought of the darkness of my sins, and of the pain I hide so that others won’t guess what a mess I am. Then I began to understand how truly merciful and wondrous my God is. When I bring my sins, pains, and brokenness to Jesus and expose them to the light of His word, when I expose my hidden sins to Jesus, His light can heal me.
How many times had I thought to myself that I was lost and not worth finding? But Jesus comes and tells us, that not only are we worth finding, we were created to be found. There are no accidents in God’s plan. What scientist chalk up to new, unknown or accidental God had planned. Your salvation was part of His plan.
When getting a sonogram in my first pregnancy the baby was not cooperating, so the technician shined a light on the opposite side of my belly to get the baby to move towards the light. I started to cry because I knew that even before birth, even before cognitive thinking was developed we know that light is good and that we should approach it.
Psalm 18:28 says “You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”
Let us bring our secrets into the Light of Jesus, our pain, our brokenness our past hurts, our anger our hatred, our frustrations, and well everything. He longs to heal us. But first we must bring these things into the light. Just like the patients who flock to low laser therapy need to show up and expose their injuries to the light. We are called to expose our injuries to Jesus. I believe that Jesus can heal us spiritually if we take this step towards Him.
Exposing our darkness is never easy. Bringing things long-buried into the light can be very difficult. We all carry things in our closet that we would love to just imagine never happened. Those things affect our thoughts and actions whether we consciously acknowledge them or not. Taking these things to Jesus in prayer can finally bring healing and freedom.
Isaiah 42:16 I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.
Today I pray that we open our hearts to the healing light of Christ. That we allow Him to lead us in ways we had not planned or may not even understand. He longs to make our rough places smooth, and draw us closer to Him
God Bless you!