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2019: Let There Be Light

Good morning, friend.

I wanted to write such a happy "Farewell to 2018" type post to you, but can I be honest with you?

I did not love 2018.

I just didn't. I know hardly anyone who did. Those I am closest to buried loved ones, endured frightening medical crises, struggled under financial and emotional burdens, and did their best to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. It was a dark, hard year. Even when the big, bright, shiny moments came, they were hard to see for long before the clouds rolled back in... hard to look back and even remember as real when the storms raged again.

Doors opened and opportunities were seized, then the enemy roared and ripped again.

Sound familiar?

It felt like a war to me.

I believe it was.

I believe 2019 will be, too.

Any time we are pursuing Jesus, the enemy is threatened. Any time we let the light in, darkness has to flee. When the prince of darkness appears to gain the lead and we are losing steam, it seems a better option to retreat, to wave the white flag, and surrender to defeat. We draw the drapes and collapse in an exhausted heap.

As only he can, the enemy turns our faces toward the spaces in our souls and lives we so desperately want to keep hidden that we gradually believe darkness is the better, safer option. We become so enamored with all that can longer be seen - all we are free to deny and leave behind - in darkness that we soon forget all that was forsaken when we rejected the light. Lulled into such a slumber we scarcely see our lives passing us by, we miss opportunity after opportunity and find ourselves wandering further and further from the prize we longed for.

Maybe that's how 2018 felt for you. Maybe you just grew so tired of fighting the same old fights that you drew the shades and determined you were never meant to shine anyway.

I heard it said this year that we will spend the same amount of time anticipating an event whether we spend it worrying it will be a disaster or believing it will turn out well. Why not believe the best again? Maybe we will look like fools in the end, but you know what? Maybe we won't. Maybe God's answer will be no again, but what if it is a resounding YES?! Maybe we won't have what it takes after all, but maybe we will see in new ways that our Father ALWAYS does. He comes through for His child on time, every time.

How might 2018 have been different if we had opted to praise the Prince of Peace louder every time the enemy started in on us with his lies? What if, instead of growing defeated and distracted by all that was not, we had honed in on what was and made the most of it? Beautiful things could have been made from the messes we tried to hide. That's God's business - making messy things beautiful. He is the Redeemer and Restorer. He is more than able to craft a masterpiece of grace from the sharpest shards we have to offer when this world leaves us shattered.

He is. He does. He has. He will. We merely have to choose Him - to stop settling for less and shut out the lies. To choose Him is to choose light, to choose life, to stand up on Truth, to fight the darkness one thousand times a day by calling on His name if that's what it takes. He is so faithful to fight for us. He's made us more than conquerors and we are more than able to push back any darkness that comes when we push back in His strength and never be content to rely solely on our own.

What if you pushed back in 2019, friend?

What if you rose to your feet, dared to draw back the curtains covering the light, and looked right into the Son? Oh, sure. It might be too much at first. You may be taken aback by all you are able to see anew. Some things will inevitably disgust you, but others will be like old childhood relics you've longed for without even realizing. There is so much you have missed.
The light holds so much more than the darkness could ever hide.

Jesus stood up and said to her,
“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you;
go, and from now on sin no more.”
Again Jesus spoke to them,
saying, “I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”
John 8:10-12


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