Shining Ever Brighter
The sun has been shining for a full week in Oxford. No rain for six whole days. The thermometer actually hit 60, and this girl is singing. I married a man who loves the rain, loves grey, melancholy skies. I, on the other hand, love the sun. The warmth of it upon my skin, the brightness that lights up the noonday, its vibrant rays casting shadows upon the trees.
I love the song of the rain, but I dance in the light of the sun.
I think God's guidance is often like the sun. His presence upon the pathway He has for us is so strong, we cannot help but follow on. Lyric and I have been studying in school how the Lord guided his people, the Israelites, by a pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night.
This pillar was a testimony of his involvement to his people. He was with them, taking every step of the journey right beside them.
Exodus 13:22 says, “Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.”
This was proof that God was never going to leave them or forsake them. He would be faithful as He had bound himself to them. The journey was unknown. The path was not always clear. But the Lord's presence was with them.
We still don't know the exact path the Lord has for our family after Oxford. Yet, God's presence continues to guide through his holy word. Last week I stumbled upon Proverbs 4:26 before I left for a morning walk, "Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm."
During my walk, I contemplated this passage, and what it means to take ways that are firm. As I neared the end of the walk, I approached a hill that cuts up through the pasture. It was the last leg of my journey, I was tired, yet somehow I actually ran up the hill with ease.
Even though it was uphill, the path was firm, the footing level, which made running up it not only possible, but filled with ease.
And I heard the Lord whisper, "As long as the path is level, and the way firm, even if it is uphill, your feet will be sure." The path ahead may be an uphill battle. It may not be easy. But if we are on the right path, the firm one He has prepared for us, the climb will be filled with the ease of His presence. For God is going ever before us.
I want to walk the path Christ has laid for our feet to take. Even if it is not easy. I want to walk in the light of His presence, even if it is an uphill battle. I would rather walk a firm path with Christ in the dark than a wayward path in the light.
All Our Wanderings
Maybe in all my wanderings what I am really looking for is not the path, but the Guide. Maybe in all our quests what we are really searching for is the presence of God Himself. Even more so than the pathway.
C.S. Lewis captures the wonder of this beautifully in his sermon given in 1941, at Oxford University Church of St. Mary the Virgin, when he said:
"Our lifelong nostalgia, our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off, to be on the inside of some door which we have always seen from the outside, is no mere neurotic fancy, but the truest index of our real situation. And to be at last summoned inside would be both glory and honour beyond all our merits."
Maybe all our longings to know the way to go is to really know the One who is the Way.
I find this hope, as I continue to read the Proverbs in search of the path God has for us. "The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day." (4:18)
Shining ever brighter.
Father, I want our path to shine ever brighter. The path to Oxford shone with Your brilliance. May the next path shine even brighter with You. May Your presence lead us on.
"For if we take the imagery of Scripture seriously, if we believe that God will one day give us the Morning Star and cause us to put on the splendour of the sun, then we may surmise that both the ancient myths and the modern poetry ... may be very near the truth as prophecy...all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in."
And like the first gleam of dawn, I see hope. A hope that is shining ever brighter until the full light of day. Break the dawn of Your presence upon us, Oh Lord, that we may see the full light of day.