God of Brilliant Lights

sparkling lakeA conversation I’ve recently been having with the Lord is this: “Lord, I know other people look at my life and call me a victim – and I feel as if I sometimes DO see things through victim eyes – how do I change that Lord? How do I start expecting victory and hope in every situation?

Last week, in the middle of one of my typical morning runs around Evergreen Lake, God orchestrated an amazing answer.

I was sluggishly finishing my last mile when a woman who I see almost every time I take this trail came walking toward me. As she passed me, I felt a prayer well up in me “Lord, give her new, creative thoughts as she takes her walks, thoughts that will refresh and energize her.” Of course, I should have realized the Lord would want me to actually TELL her His thoughts, which led to a little tug of war about it – this meant back-tracking when I was already feeling tired, and realizing as I had this “conversation” that she was getting further and further away from me. The turning point came when I remembered how crummy it feels if I don’t do what the Lord has put on my heart.

I did an about-face and started running back down the trail, but she was nowhere to be seen. I came around a bend, but instead of seeing her … I found myself looking down at the expanse of lake covered with small, dark waves, and then at the Evergreen Lakehouse building across from me – and in the building’s huge picture window, the lake’s reflection glowed as if it was filled with brilliant lights, sparkling diamonds! I stared at this incongruous scene – the dark, rippling lake, and then it’s other-worldly reflection in the huge window.

What are you showing me Lord?

“You know that prayer that welled up in you? Those are my thoughts towards YOU.”

I let this sink in – He wants to give ME creative, energizing thoughts! He cares about my creativity, my refreshment, my heart’s desires. And then He took this even deeper for me – because I realized I’d also been praying for “spiritual eyes” – to see hope and victory in the circumstances of my life.

“And see Joanne – I AM giving you a new way of seeing!”

I felt this truth lift me up like a huge wave of God’s love – He doesn’t want me to just know in my head about His love – He wants me to feel it and SEE it. This was a full-blown heart experience.

And it came to me how I’ve been working with my spiritual director to come to grips with the traumas and hurts in my life that had piled up on my heart like debris on the banks of a flood-ravaged river. I know in my head that God loves me and has plans to give me a “future and a hope,” but the debris seemed too much sometimes, blocking the love I knew was waiting for me. And this is probably true for many of us – life’s traumas and hurts pile up on our hearts, and we don’t even realize how much they get in the way of experiencing God’s love – or maybe we do have a sense of it, but we’re not quite sure how it could ever be totally swept away.

In doing the work with my spiritual director, I’ve been able to let the Lord take me by the hand into some painful areas – as if He’s taking me into deep water where my feet have nothing to stand on – I only have Him, and He’s been restoring my trust and hope as the debris gets swept away.

After I got home that day, God put the “icing on the cake” in a way that only He can. I did a word search in the Bible for “brilliant” – because that’s the word that kept coming to me as I thought about the window filled with sparkling diamonds. And I found this scripture: “How desirable are all of his works, and how brilliant they are to look upon.” (Sirach 42:22)

Yes, the window was brilliant, but could each of us be a desirable work, brilliant to look upon too?

I think so! It’s how He sees each of us! So, not only does He want me to know that He does not see me as a victim, and that He wants to give me refreshing, creative thoughts, but He sees me as one of His brilliant works!

During the last few days, when I catch myself in a negative thought, I recall how the Lord sees me as a “brilliant work,” and the words from Aaron Shust’s song, “God of Brilliant Lights” – start playing in my head: “The god of brilliant lights is shining down over us, breaking through the darkness covering all the earth …”!

Dear Lord – You are a God of brilliant light! Thank you for giving me a new way of seeing, for showing me that as I come around a bend in my life, there is a gift waiting for me, a new revelation of your love, a new way to see you and to see myself in your eyes! Thank you for revealing your heart toward me. Thank you for teaching me to expect to see your brilliant works all around me, and that even I can be considered one of your brilliant works! Amen.