It's been a rather depressing shade of gray here in Indiana all week long. I've traded in my sandals and shorts for skinny jeans and boots, and I haven't had the best attitude about it, to be honest. I did decide, however, to have a better attitude about the cold in the winter-- just as long as winter doesn't try to steal my warm weather moments, and vice versa, we're going to get along just fine. Today, however, I woke up to the sun shining through our window and I nearly leaped out of bed. What is it about the sunshine that makes life so much better? On every level? Naturally, the minute Eden went down for her morning nap I threw on a tank top and the shortest shorts I could find (no nosy neighbors here)-- and ran to our backyard lawn chair to have some time with the Lord...and here I sit...typing away on the computer screen that I cannot read because the sun is so bright. Praise the Lord.
The point of writing all of this, (let's hope I have a point), is that a few moments ago I had the most wonderful reminder of such a simple truth. I walked back inside of our house to retrieve some cookies from the oven (because when I'm happy, baked goods inevitably are produced in huge quantities- heck, if I'm sad, the same thing happens). And when I walked in to get them, I suddenly felt blind in my own home. I couldn't see the tray, the oven, the oven mit...etc. But I was so tickled by it, so delighted that the reason I was blind inside was because outside I was sitting and soaking up glorious September sun-- that I didn't care if I burned my hand. Or that I couldn't tell if the cookies were burned or mushy or what. It didn't take long for my eyes to readjust to being inside, and as I was shoveling cookies onto a paper towel, I kind of panicked thinking I wanted to get back in the sun so I would think inside was dark again.
Just then it was like the Lord reminded me of that verse in Matthew 6:22-23:
"the eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye us clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!"
I experienced this principle just this week- maybe it was because of the weather too, but I just didn't invest much in finding time to spend with God. I made myself busy doing who knows what, and entertaining my brain with Pinterest, or friends on the phone, or Eden's most recent antics. But by Thursday, I felt really stupid. I felt really irritable. I felt really ugly and insecure and as all of those thoughts started lowering into my mind like the bazillion layers o f clouds outside-- I realized that the key to all of my mental distress was my lack of intimacy with God. So i dedicated an hour to reading yesterday and talking to Jesus, and it was so wonderful. I felt so relieved, so much more alive. And what was most interesting was that the negative thoughts I had been marinating in only moments before my quiet time looked totally ridiculous and unthinkable just after it. It was like my spiritual eyes had adjusted to a new standard of brightness- and the junk of my flesh looked really unnappealing. Isn't that how it is supposed to be though?
When we were little, I can't tell you how many movie nights were ruined by Mom's incessant complaining about anything in the movie wasn't absolutely pure or above-board. At the time, I was so annoyed that she didn't think we could handle a few cuss words or a romantic scene-- but now that I am older, and even more, now that I am a mom, I understand exactly where she was coming from. Mom spent so much time with God that her conscience was really sensitive to anything that was anti-the Gospel...and she just wouldn't tolerate it. It is amazing how what we behold is what we become, what we look at becomes the standard of what we look for. When we look at comparison and jealousy, discontentment or complaining, we become someone who is insecure, jealous, discontented and sad. But if we look at Jesus- that great Light of the World and the great Light of eternity- the darkness looks just like what it is: dark. So be careful what you look at, be careful what you allow your eyes to be adjusted to. And if its sunny outside where you are- be grateful, for my sake.