No matter who you are or what defines you or whatever is your estate, you are in a season. You have come from a season and you are going to a season. Be it the President of the United States to the needy, hungry and homeless one on the street, there is no differential–each person is in a season. I would call that common ground. Wouldn’t you?
It’s in the common ground things of life that God’s Word speaks and is illumined. He inspired it to be so. His Word touches whomever will listen to it and simply be willing to be impacted by the light of Christ. I’ve heard some say that His Word means nothing to them and He means nothing to them. Even this one, this lost sheep, is in a season.
Seasons define us, mark us, change us, fill us, empty us. Seasons are the circumstances of the day–the weather and events and characters that set the current stage of our lives. Some seasons are like a day at the beach–warm, salty wind blowing in our face, sounds of waves crashing and children playing, a plethora of joy, contentment and happiness. Some seasons are like a lonely walk in the desert–hot sand on our blistered feet, sounds of the wind and nothing else, an empty and lonely place that chills our hearts at night.
It is with these thoughts and this spirit that I came upon this verse two days before we filed for bankruptcy in March 2009. It had been a hard season, ending in a tragic failure for us. This verse spoke to my heart, for it was as if I were the one needing to be awoken from a very, bad dream…
“Therefore He says, ‘Awake O sleeper and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine (make day dawn) upon you and give you light. Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people) making the most of the time (buying up opportunity), because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:14-16 Amplified
So as I meditate once again on this verse and look back over what for me was the last season of my life and not the present one, I am beginning to pull out the meaning of the phrases from the original language. I want to see if there are any treasures to be had and of course there are!
Beginning with the first word, Therefore, we know that these are verses that point back to the verses before them. You can read the whole chapter in its entirety here (Ephesians 5 Amplified). Basically the passage is talking about how we walk through our life, what we should choose and what we should not choose.
Then it says it is shameful to even mention what some people in the darkness practice in secret. We, by our own behavior, shine a light on them to expose, reprove and convict them. When deeds are exposed and rendered apparent and shown manifestly by the light, they are known.
So picture this…you are in a dark cave without any glimpse of light to be seen. Your mind is completely confused. You cannot move from the spot in which you sit, as you shiver in fear. Not knowing if you are awake or asleep, you have frightening thoughts and in every way you are confused. There is nothing you can do about your estate. For you are stuck. There is not one thing you can do to make a change in your circumstances. For even crying out for help is too cognizant a thought to form into words in such a muddled mind-set.
Then Jesus comes and shines His light upon you, illuminating your darkness. Not only that, but He speaks to you! He bids you to waken and rouse from the place you have gone to lie down and sleep. He says, as he once said to Lazarus, “Rise again! Stand up, you corpse, you dead one, and see! Behold and perceive. It is your choice. Then walk around, live, and follow Me as your Companion. Let us take the most exact and straight path. You must tread down underfoot this place from which you are walking. Let me set you free.”
He continues to speak, “Walk not as the conceited one, the unclear fool. No! Walk thoughtfully, discreetly, wisely with skill. For you must ransom, rescue from loss and buy up this appointed season. It is time! From dawn to dusk, you must live redeeming this time, knowing and being aware of the wicked, degenerate, hurtful age in which you live. I am with you, equipping you to live wisely. Shining My light in your darkness. Now walk and illumine the path for others. Tell them I am the light.”
I remember the night, Jesus did this for me. It was a dark night, alone in dorm room. My choices had led me down the wrong path. I was in the darkest day of my life. Though I did not know it, as I bowed face down on the floor and coherent of nothing save my pain and sorrow, Jesus shone His light upon me. He illumined my path. He taught me a better way. He showed me a better way to circumspectly walk about every gentle day.
Does that mean I have not needed His light since? Oh, now that is far from reality. Reality is that I need my Companion’s (Jesus’) light every moment of every day. Sometimes, I have not chosen to walk in that light. Did He walk away from me or abandon me? No. He waited and shed His light abroad on the path, so that I would know how to find my way back to Him. And the important part? It was and is my choice. Daily.
And dear friend? It is your choice. Daily.