Sunday, August 31, 2008

How Bright Is Your Light?

“Let your light so shine before men…” – Matthew 5:16

Today in church was like the icing on the cake of a week filled with a lot of joy despite a few minor setbacks. The week began with having to take Johnny back in to Mayo Clinic to get an hydration infusion because he had become dehydrated. He hadn’t eaten in a week except the few protein drinks and a little soup I prodded him to get in.

He was taking longer to get over the side effects of the last chemo session and his appetite just wouldn’t come back. When I called to tell the nurse, she had us come in immediately. It did the trick. By the next day he was dreaming again of all his favorite foods and we started a week long food fest to restore his stamina and energy and weight.

Despite his very weakest moments Johnny’s faith continues to get stronger everyday. We listen to a CD of bible verses every night as I massage his aching bones and I feel like God’s word is saturating his cells with the light of His love. We listen to miracle after miracle that Jesus performed and remind ourselves of the healing that is possible.

At Sunday school this morning my teacher Shirley Howell shared with us that Faith is Forsaking All In Trusting Him. I believe that when we surrender everything, we open the door to the channel that accesses His power into our lives. It lets in the light.

During our church service, our Pastor Bill Yeldell continued explaining how we can light up the world, by letting people see the light of God shining within us. He reminded us that darkness does not put out the light – that the light puts out the darkness. So it was in the beginning. The first thing God created was the light.

We had a guest singer this morning who sang the song “Go Light The World” and she had the whole congregation on their feet applauding and raising their hands up as her heavenly voice sang the words:

There is a candle in every soul,
some burning brightly, and some dark and cold
And there is a spirit who brings a fire,
ignites the candle and makes his home.

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 the world

Frustrated brother, see how he tries 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

So carry your candle, run to the darkness,
seek out the lonely, the tired and worn.
Hold out your candle for all to see it,
take your candle go light the world

Cause we are a family, whose hearts are blazing,
so lets raise our candles, and light up the sky.
Praying to out Father, in the name of Jesus,
make us a beacon in darkest times.

Carry your candle run to the darkness,
seek out the hopeless, deceived and torn.
And hold out your candle for all to see it,
take your candle and go light the world.

I’ve been thinking a lot about “the light” this week. Seeing the light come back into Johnny’s eyes is one of my happiest moments. There were a lot of “God moments” this week, but my biggest one occurred as I stood washing dishes one night. It was as if an invisible white sparkling wave of peace swept into the kitchen and enveloped me in the twinkling of an eye.

It didn’t last long – but a moment of truth can last an eternity – as it permeates every cell in your body with a hope and a peace that surpasses all understanding. I just suddenly felt as if everything was going to be all right. I felt like God had gathered me into His bosom and was trying to make me understand – don’t worry. I couldn’t explain it. I had no proof. But it was a fact. I had a faith.

And I learned something this week about faith. I learned what makes it stronger. I found that when you take your own candle and light someone else’s it makes you stronger. I learned that by doing this you affirm what you believe. By encouraging another to have faith it puts your own faith to the test. You cannot share something you don’t have yourself.

Faith puts you in a precarious position. You must trust in something where you are not sure what the outcome may be, but you TRUST that it is always for the greater good. It is what I must do when I pray for Johnny’s healing and at the same time be prepared for God’s will whatever that may be. It is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. But when those moments of heavenly balance come there is no greater peace. It is when I allow GOD to define the word victory that we sing and shout for.

This week after Johnny’s blood test we cast care to the wind and took the coastal drive down A1A to one of our favorite French restaurants in St. Augustine – Le Pavillion. Johnny was looking forward to their famous bouillabaisse fish stew. We put the windows down to take in the salt air as we drove by the sea to our destination. We drove slow and let cars fly by us. We refused to be hurried.

We remembered the days when it was us in such a hurry, moving through life at such a breakneck speed. Going through a battle with cancer teaches you many things. It teaches you to slow down and savor every moment. It teaches you to look at life through new eyes. Now I understand the words in the song “Amazing Grace.” I was blind but now I see.

When we returned home there was a message from the nurse that results showed Johnny’s platelets were too low again. She called us back in for another blood test Saturday morning and told us he might need a blood transfusion this week before his next chemo session. Please keep him in prayer. Friday night as I lay next to him and listened to him sleeping I reached out my hand and touched him as I prayed to God.

I was talking to God about faith and asking for His grace to keep me strong as I accepted His will. I asked for the faith to believe His word which instructed us to believe we have the power to heal with love. I timidly whispered out “You are healed in the name of Jesus by His stripes!” in the darkness and let my heart fill up with all the love I could muster. Now we will see what the blood test says. Yet still I accept His will - either way.

I wish you all a world full of lighted candles. Take your lighted candles and go find the darkness to light up the world. Don’t look for understanding, look for faith. Open the doors and let the “son” shine in on whatever situation troubles you. How bright is your light? Let them see God when they look at you. Live what you believe. Live in the light. Live in peace. Then pass it on.


Anonymous said...


Your incredible faith is such a blessing to us as you share your heart with us. Thanks for being so transparent and for sharing your walk with the Lord with your neighbors and freinds. Brenda Mc

Elizabeth Bowdren Photography said...

Your words are so incredibly comforting. I know what you mean about shining your light! I am learning so much about that lately.... and I thank you so much for sharing these words with the world.... we're praying for God's will over here in the Panhandle!! Love you!

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