Getting Unstuck from the Darkness: A Healthy Voice Devotional for Lent Week 5

Darkness and the glowing light of a sunset....taken in Leland, MI.  

Darkness and the glowing light of a sunset....taken in Leland, MI.

 

Do you ever feel stuck? I know my younger friends get this. You feel like everyone else's life is moving along swimmingly and you are just behind? Can you say late bloomer? 

It never helps us to compare our highlight reel to someone else's because all we are seeing is a small smidgen of that person's life. Yet we do it anyway. Well, I want to take a moment to tell you today - you can stop now. I know easier said than done.

Let me tell you about something that happened on my walk yesterday. I was walking by this one house whose garage had windows without curtains. I looked over and couldn't believe what I saw. There was this little bird stuck inside. I could see him. He could probably see me. But he was stuck - behind a glass, jumping up and down because he probably knew he didn't belong there. He belonged in the light of that beautiful day, not stuck inside a dark garage.

It kinda made me think about something I touched on in my Ted pitch last week. My call at the end of the speech I said, "When you leave here today and go back to your Facebook feeds, my question for you is - are you gonna show UP, or are you gonna show OFF." 

Think about showing UP as facing real life - like all your emotional and mental baggage and spiritual discontent so you can live in the light. Then think about showing OFF as actively hiding behind your news feed and staying in your own comfortable darkness. You can probably figure out what is going to give you the more fulfilling life. 

Do you have any control over what someone else is doing with their life, or showing OFF on their news feed? Absolutely not. But how much does it affect you internally? If we can only control how we show UP in our own life, then maybe we should think the next time we're gawking at someone else's news feed - or even worse, judging them.

If you DO feel stuck, maybe think about where your discontentment might be. What don't you like about your life? Where you do realize that you aren't showing UP? I will tell you this morning I spent some time listening to God for where he wants me next. It can be hard to decipher my voice from his. But more often than not mine is much more about getting what I want. Sometimes that is the comfort of my own darkness. But when I look at what I'm doing and what I want to be doing, I realize right where I'm not showing UP, and I say a prayer for God to change my heart and to show me his plan. It is a process, this faith life, but every day I learn to go a little deeper and walk further into the light. All I have to do to remember that is think about that little bird who clearly didn't belong in that darkness and do what I need to do, maybe even jump up and down - to get myself back into the light.

It reminds me of the parable of the lamp. Mark 4:21-22 (NLT):

"Then Jesus asked them, “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine. For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light."

We are not meant to hide in darkness under a bed where our light can't shine. We're meant to be on a stand so it can!! We get scared of our secrets coming into the light. But honestly, God already knows what we're trying to hide and if we bring it into the light he can use it for his good!!!

One last thing, don't ask me why but this song came on my Spotify when I was walking yesterday thinking about what I was going to write and it just moved me. I'm not sure I really understand the video, but try to listen to it more for the words - in a GOOD WAY - not in some punishing God way. P.S. I love how Bono paints, "Sinners make the best saints, J.C."

"Well you may throw your rock and hide your hand
Workin' in the dark against your fellow man
But as sure as God made black and white
What's done in the dark will be brought to the light

You can run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Sooner or later God'll cut you down
Sooner or later God'll cut you down'