Page 221 begins the end of summer as school returns to the building this week. While that seems like a crazy statement to write in early August, it is nonetheless a true statement. 😦 Much of the day was spent with my usual Monday writing projects and trying to figure out what my fall routine needs to look like. This past month has been a blur as I’ve tried to hold together as much as possible to accomplish the important tasks that had been set before me. Throw in the busyness of completing projects that others pulled me into and my summer seemed to have evaporated before it even began. One of the beauties of photos is that I can look back and remember the Florida vacation that marked the beginning of summer. I can look at the photos and recall the afternoon hikes at Potato Creek, the sunset visits to Lake Michigan, and the weekly prayer walks at Michiana Christian Service Camp. As I realize the opportunities I had to be still before God and allow His Spirit to refresh mine, I become amazed that anyone can survive for any length of time without that.
A good part of the morning was spent writing next week’s prayer guide which is week two of a focus on the beatitudes and the results of seeing blessings redefined by Jesus. Without an eternal perspective, much of what Jesus says about being blessed makes absolutely no sense. Life gets that way often, doesn’t it? We lose perspective and all we can see is what is directly in front of us. When today’s life doesn’t seem very blessed, we need reminders of how God has brought us through dark times before and of His faithfulness in keeping all of His eternal promises. As I find myself walking through a valley of shadows, I find comfort in knowing that even the shadows are proof that the light is still shining. The photo I chose to add to today’s page is one I took yesterday during a cloudy evening visit to Potato Creek. Even with all of the clouds, it is the light that is most noticeable to me. As a matter of fact, the clouds actually accentuate the light as it shines through the darkness. While we are generally comfortable with the claim of Jesus that He is the light of the world, we tend to squirm just a bit when He says that we are the light of the world! Yet He not only says it, He expects that we will “let our light shine in such a way that people would see our good deeds and glorify our Father who is in heaven.” Instead of letting the darkness of the world hide us, the darkness actually helps our light be more visible when we live in such a way that Christ is seen in us.
I pray that you and I would find ways to remember the work of God in our lives and how He has blessed us in times of trouble. I pray that we would keep our eyes fixed on Jesus as we remain aware of an eternal perspective to the blessings God has prepared for us. I pray that we would live as beacons of light in a world that is increasingly dark. I pray that the light we shine would always be the light of Jesus that points people to the Father.