Archives For light

candles

I’ve been thinking about candles a lot lately.

I’ve always thought there is something special about candles, something that makes them feel almost out of place in our world. They possess a ethereal quality which no other light-source has, and yet they are at their core very simple. They have one job – to provide light.

Yes – you can get fancy candles, multi-coloured candles and scented candles. But a candle, at heart, is meant to give light.

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Candles, however, have a lifespan which is defined. It is something that no one can change. You can spread out this lifespan by lighting the candle only rarely, but in the end it will only last for so long. At some point the light begins to flicker, the glow begins to fade and the shadows creep in.

The light is extinguished.

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Contrast this to the Light of the World. Contrast this to Jesus, God’s Son, the light who stepped down into darkness to rescue us. The light that shines in the darkness, the light which the darkness cannot overcome.

Sometimes it can feel as if the light of God is flickering in our lives, barely visible among the shadows. Sometimes it can feel as if the shadows are winning, as if they are enveloping the light for good.

But the beautiful truth of Jesus is that his light, his hope, his strength, will never go out. The darkness cannot extinguish it. No storm, wave or attack can overcome his light.

The light wins. Always.

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“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost.

“From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king.” J.R.R. Tolkien

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“We are all wonderful, beautiful wrecks. That’s what connects us – that we’re all broken, all beautifully imperfect.” Emilio Estevez

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“‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'” Revelation 21:4-5

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“There are a thousand thousand reasons to live this life, everyone of them sufficient.” Marilynne Robinson

“The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one.

Everything was created through him; nothing – not one thing – came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out.”

John 1:1-5, The Message

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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

It’s no secret that for lots of Christians, God seems to go silent for a while. Times and seasons come and go where we struggle to hear from God, struggle to discern his voice and his purpose for our lives.

These periods of drought can be short-lived or painfully long. There can sometimes feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel, but also like the tunnel is getting darker and darker.

For me, it’s something which is a huge struggle. I can go for weeks without hearing from God (or without thinking I’ve heard from God).

At times when I feel I should be hearing from him most, I seem to hear from him least.

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Part of the reason I think it can be difficult to go through seasons like this is because it can feel like God has forgotten us. Like he’s either too busy doing other things, or like he’s simply missed our prayers.

Which of course isn’t true.

But it can feel that way. I know that for me, there’s a constant need to remind myself of God’s love and goodness on a daily basis, if not more regularly. I take a lot of comfort from the Israelites, who constantly referred to God by mentioning his past actions (Joshua 24:17 and many more).

Despite constantly feeling like God had forgotten them, the Israelites called out to God and recognised his hand in their lives. They recognised the value of their testimony. They recognised that God had not forgotten them.

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That’s the thing about God. He never forgets. He never leaves us. His mercies are new every morning, and his love endures forever.

That’s what I tell myself when I feel like things are tough. Like I’m forgotten. And with that shift in perspective comes a feeling of comfort and of peace.

A whisper that I’m not forgotten.

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“God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.” Lamentations 3:22-24, The Message