This morning my Mom called me downstairs to help her change one of the bulbs in the ceiling light in the kitchen. I got downstairs and thought she was crazy… it didn’t look to me like any of the bulbs were burned out. I still thought it was bright in there. But Mom insisted, and sure enough, two out of the four bulbs weren’t shining as they should be. Of course when we changed the bulbs, everything was as bright again, and it seemed silly to think that the way I saw it before could ever be bright enough.
And it got me thinking about how many times we kind of allow our sinfulness to groom us into a skewed vision of God. For example, I struggle a lot with being jealous of what others have that I do not have. This jealousy often leads me to feeling like I am not good enough to have what I want, and even sometimes like God is this mean little kid who likes to torture me by putting people in my life who have everything I want. It also affects my relationships, because when I think that I don’t deserve that happiness, I don’t remain open to receive the love that relationship could bring, which makes the relationship one-sided and rather superficial. I get so used to thinking like this that I let it become normal. My vision of God changed into this guy who loved me kind of, but was also mad at me for screwing up and has been busy punishing me by making me miserable. I had to earn back my love from God, and since I realized that I can never be perfect enough to deserve God’s love… I admit to letting my relationship with him dwindle to less than what it was. So now I’m kind of living on half my bulbs being burnt.
Maybe its time to go change those bulbs. Maybe its time I got myself to confession again for the first time in at least three years. Life does not need to be this dim. It could be so much brighter and better.
The brighter truth is that I don’t need to earn God’s love. I don’t deserve God’s love, according to my human understanding. But I have God’s love no matter what. After all..
What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?As it is written: “For your sake we are being slain all the day; we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.”No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us.For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers,nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. –Romans 8:35-39
And that, friends, is a pretty bright truth.
Are you living your life with your light under the bushel basket, or are you letting it shine for the world to see?