Sunday, November 5, 2023

Darkness Comprehending the Light

Lot's of feelings this week. I had a conversation with someone that I hold in the highest esteem. They asked me if I go to church and when I told them I did not, they were visibly heartbroken. I detest letting people down. It broke my heart to break theirs. We talked for some time about a few of the concerns I have and my inability to teach my kids the perspective of the church - that Joseph Smith is a liar...and that lying about fidelity is okay. I don't believe he was a liar and the fruit he produced (the Book of Mormon) draws me closer to Jesus (along with the Bible).

They let me know that my belief in Jesus was "good" but...not enough for exaltation. They expressed that they had the spirit, which led them to believe in the church. They lamented that because I did not believe in everything the church teaches I was being influenced by a different spirit. I wanted to share my heart, my journey, my experiences with the spirit and the Lord but the spirit restrained. I left that conversation deeply downcast and depressed. I felt like a failure to that person. They would never really know me in this life. I dislike not being fully understood and known. I hurt to see that someone I love didn't want to fully know me or understand me. I think the Lord knows what that feels like. Meet me here, Lord.

As I drove on the freeway I poured my heart out to the Lord. "I'll go back to church Lord. Is that what You want me to do? I'll do whatever You ask. Please tell me what to do." I then heard, "Ask the Lord if He could give you a sign." I reasoned to myself that sign seeking wasn't wise because a wicked generation seeks a sign (Matt 16:4) has never been my go-to to ask for a sign. But again, the thought came to ask for a sign. So I said, "Lord, could you give me a sign?" And literally - I mean literally the moment I said "sign" my eyes glanced to the right to a flashing construction sign on the side of the road. The words flashed, "Use Alternate Route".

I laughed. Out loud.

The depression still lingers. The longing to please those I love still persists. But the longing for Jesus wins out. His will is my Bread. His Presence is my Drink. So I wait upon Him and seek Him.

One of my children said to me today, "Mom - I don't remember when I learned what words meant. Now I look at words and I know what they mean but I know at some point I looked at them and they were just a jumbled mess. But I don't remember when they were messy and meaningless."

And so it is with Jesus and the Lord.

Watch as He 
majestically describes, in His own words, who God is:

40 For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things.

41 He comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever.

42 And again, verily I say unto you, he hath given a law unto all things, by which they move in their times and their seasons;

43 And their courses are fixed, even the courses of the heavens and the earth, which comprehend the earth and all the planets.

44 And they give light to each other in their times and in their seasons, in their minutes, in their hours, in their days, in their weeks, in their months, in their years—all these are one year with God, but not with man.

45 The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God.

46 Unto what shall I liken these kingdoms, that ye may understand?

47 Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power.

48 I say unto you, he hath seen him; nevertheless, he who came unto his own was not comprehended.

49 The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not; nevertheless, the day shall come when you shall comprehend even God, being quickened in him and by him.

50 Then shall ye know that ye have seen me, that I am, and that I am the true light that is in you, and that you are in me; otherwise ye could not abound.

I love verse 48 and how it talks about He came to His own and wasn't comprehended! Then verse 49 He talks about us not comprehending Him at first. The light shines in darkenss (words being a jumbled mess) and the darkness comprehendeth it not (you before you learned how to read).

And then - if you diligently seek Him and hunger for His Bread and His Living Water - then the day will come that those jumbled words on a page will begin to form a word. And from a word - a sentence and from a sentence - a paragraph. And from a paragraph to poetry. From poetry to a mystery to a tragedy to a triumph. You will know Him so intimately that you won't remember what it was like when you didn't comprehend Him or when you didn't see Him above you, beneath you, in you, and all around you.

God allows us to misunderstand Him, to misinterpret Him. He allows us to seek after the pleasures of our minds and hearts. He asks for our hearts but He doesn't force the relationship. To seek after Him and His will is the greatest challenge and the greatest gift of a lifetime...and few be there that find it. It will cost you the things you cling most tightly to that aren't Him. To step out of the boat of safety onto choppy waters is terrifying. What is the boat that you are clinging to? A seemingly likeminded group of believers? A particular leader? Your family? Your intellect? Your doubts? There are a myriad of jumbled words we can cling to that keep us from comprehending the Alphabet.

A prayer. Lord, I ask You to bless this reader and me with a deeper hunger for Your Bread and Your Water. And the Bread we seek after is Your Will and we pray Your Living Water to flow in us and through us and surround us until that perfect day when our thirst is quenched by Your Grace and Your Majesty. We ask for more of You. We seek for Your Presence and we knock for You to open unto us all that You are. We don't comprehend You - but we do come to You. You are the source of all Truth and we seek after You, the giver of further light and knowledge. In your name, Jesus, we pray.