Hope you're having an awesome day! It's early and I'm sitting here by my window, sipping coffee, and thankful that the weather is just so…one sec… lemme look…dark! Wow! It's still super dark out there!
That's one thing about the weather at night! You can count on it! When the weather guy talks about the day ahead, he or she might say, "Today will be partly sunny…" or "Today will be sunny in the morning and then clouds roll in by about four or four thirty for your drive home…" But at night, it's easier to predict. "It'll be dark tonight with 100% chance of darkness every night this week…"
If I was a weather guy I'd switch from predicting the daytime to the nighttime! I'd be right all the time!
Only thing…most folks are more interested in the daytime weather because at night, they're just not out as much. You can see a whole lot more stuff in the daytime! In fact, at night, you're not really sure what you're looking at!
Like the other morning…
I had just left my house for an early morning jog. And it was early! It was so early that it was totally dark! On my early morning route the road winds thru the woods for the first half mile or so. Its super dark in those woods! I just sing praises and pray out loud for stuff. The squirrels and possums must think, "Wow! Here comes that kooky human again!" All of the sudden, my heart jumped! There were two eyes shining in the dark at me! Right down on the road! At least I thought they were eyes…
"What is it?! Is a skunk about to ruin my next three days?! Is a raccoon about to rip my shoe off?! I hear they're cute but ferocious! Is it a bobcat!? They call 'em the 'Oliver Springs Bobcats' for a reason! Maybe this is the reason! Somebody once showed me a website called sasquatchwatch where they document Big Foot sightings and there was one confirmed down here a few years ago! Is it a yeti?! A little low to the ground…but maybe it's asleep…Or is it waking up!? Is it looking at me!?"
It might surprise you (or not!) to learn that it wasn't any of those. In fact, I'm still not sure what those two glowing lights were. But soon I realized that there were dozens…maybe hundreds…of them! All over! But they were only on the road and not in the grass. And only on the road that passed through the woods. Before and after the woods, they're weren't any. They were like lightning bugs that were just still. No moving and no blinking on and off. Just glowing. Amazingly, since it was so dark, and it could've been easy to run off the road into ditch on one side or into the trees on the other, they helped me know where to step. They kinda lighted my way. I got the feeling that they are something glowing that fell out of trees. I've heard of glowing moss, I think. I also got the feeling that it might have been something from God…
To help me find my way in a dark place.
It's weird how, when you suddenly see something in the dark and you're not sure what it might be, it's easy to imagine…and quickly convince yourself…that it's something scary or threatening. It's so easy to imagine that when you're unsure of what you see ahead, at least you're sure it's not good.
I think that's how scary movies have always made so much money. "Imagine you're in a dark place alone. You hear a noise. You think you might have seen something moving. In your mind, you imagine the worst. Let us show you how horrible and terrifying what you imagined, really is!"
Why is it so easy to think the unknown or uncertain is certainly bad? Are we expecting something bad?
Some might be.
In Paul's letter that he wrote to the people of Galatia, he really poured it on in every way to tell them the Awesome News that we are loved, totally forgiven of all forever, and totally accepted, welcomed, wanted and cherished in Jesus! And it has NOTHING to do with anything we've ever done or do that is good…in order to to earn this, because we never could!… or anything we've ever done or do that's bad …so that we might somehow lose it, because we can't! It has nothing to do with our doing good or obeying God's rules! It's a total and complete gift! You can't earn it by being good or lose it by being bad!
In fact, he wrote that if you think it's up to you to earn or keep God's gift by behaving, even in some corner of your mind, it's a curse! It's like you feel cursed! You're always looking and waiting for something bad to happen. This is because you know in your deepest heart that you haven't been consistently good enough to earn or keep anything good from God! You feel doomed to have bad stuff happen. You feel deep down inside that you deserve bad stuff to happen tho you. As soon as you see or hear a sound that you're not sure about, you think, "There it is! A skunk! Or I'm getting fired! Or I have a rare brain eating bacteria! Or it's Sasquatch!"
And the imagination runs wild!
In that same chapter of Galatians, Paul added that we actually have the certain and positively amazing blessings and benefits that God promised long ago, just by believing in Jesus! The same ones He promised to old Abraham centuries ago! "I will surely bless you! I swear by My own Name that I will!", He said! In another place, Paul said He puts and arranges everything that He makes happen to you…or allows to happen to you…into a perfect mixture so that you can say over it all, "This is good! This is God working, giving, and loving me!" As Isaiah says, "Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool!" Big Foot's got nuttin'! God's feet fill the whole world!
He has promised blessing to you that you could never earn or keep! But they are yours!
When you see or think you see…and hear or think you hear…something in the dark, instead of imagining that it is something scary or bad that you deserve, why not imagine that it's some blessing that you don't deserve but that is yours?
Even if it's hard, He is making it into something good! He can!
It's not Sasquatch waking up after all!
Maybe God is lighting the road ahead!