Lent Reflections @ CEC (3/21/20)
I want to change my circumstances. God wants to change me.
SCRIPTURE & DEVOTION: John 3:14-21
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
When my grand-kids lived with us, we had a little game. We started this game last year when I wanted to play with them AND lay down at the same time. :) We decided to hide under a blanket on the couch. We made sure that we were all covered up. (Well, actually they were all covered - my feet were sticking out sometimes.) Jonah, who was 2, believed that because we couldn’t see out, no one could see us. No one would know we were there. We would wait for someone to come in the room and “find” us. Usually we would play this game around the time Papa or Daddy would come home from work. They would pretend that they did not know where we were and then "discover" us under the blanket. In his 2 year old mind we were well-hidden. But we adults know that there was obviously a big lump on the couch under a blanket that was totally visible.
I think we are often that way with God. We hide under the blanket of darkness and think that God can’t see us. But these verses remind us that God does see. It is our natural inclination to hide. We’re fearful - not just when we’ve “done” something bad. I’m not only fearful my deeds might be exposed, but that “I” might be exposed. I find myself fearful that I’m not enough. That I don’t measure up. That I am somehow not adequately handling whatever it might be that needs to be “handled.” My carefully crafted persona of strength and ability has been dismantled in this last year and has been exposed to the light of the truth of God’s word - I am weak, needy and wholly dependent on Him. He is the potter and I am the clay.
The beauty of the way God works is this: what is revealed gets healed. Our wrong thinking is healed. Our desires begin to change. We are given a heart of flesh to replace a heart of stone. His light shines so that we see in us what God sees - and allow Him to do His work to transform us into the image of His Son. The best thing about God - He sees it all and loves us anyway! John 3:17 says that Jesus did not come into the world to condemn the world (you, me) but to save the world through Him. God gave His one and only Son! Incomprehensible. Unfathomable. Mind Blown.
In the season of Lent we often focus on confession - asking God to show us where we are hiding under the blanket. We let Him “find” us and begin His healing, freeing, and transforming work. In these current days of “social distancing” - where we may find ourselves with some unexpected time for extra reflection - may we ask God to reveal and expose to His light the things in us He desires to transform, and then as we live as transformed people, may we bring Him glory in all we say or do.
Your Word reveals Your truth - You are to be lifted up and exalted. You love us and You died for us. You came to save and not condemn. You are the Light of the world. Sometimes the light feels too bright - but as we allow You to work in us, we adjust - our eyes adjust- and we become accustomed to being in Your light. Give us courage to allow You to uncover and find us. May we grow in our understanding of Your great love for us.