Spiritual Coaching Lesson #1 – How The Light Gets In
For months, it’s worked.
I lean my phone on the same window ledge in the corner of the living room to capture a time lapse of the sun rising. For months, it’s been a no fail set up. Until it failed.
Thursday skies poured nothing but gray, cold, heavy drops of water all day long. Friday came in with a forecast promising blue skies and eye squinting sunshine.
So Friday morning, I set up the phone, I hit the red button for time-lapse and off I go.
While the sun was filling up the living room, I went to sneak a peek only to find the phone was capturing zero sunrise. The phone angle was just where it had always been but the sunrise had moved by a lot! I shifted the phone towards the sun’s new spot and hit record again.
As I was walking away, it occurred to me that the whole set up, the looking around, the repositioning; was me chasing the light. And this chasing, reminds me of what we talked about last time. Do you remember?
In Matthew 11:30 Jesus says, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I’m still wondering what if Jesus was saying my burden is more than just not heavy but my burden is light. And, it seemed to strike a nerve with you too from the comments and voicemails you left and conversations we had.
Aside from the fact those ways the light gets in reflect who Jesus was (stunning, igniting, reaching, etc), grammatically they reveal what He is… livING. Because, if you’re dead or just a character in a story, you aren’t -ING anything. Jesus is so much more than a character in a story. Jesus is so much more than a character in my story.
Recently, I was invited to be a guest on a podcast. The interview jogged my memory for a walk through my faith story and who Jesus was and is in my life. Church was certainly part of it. But, it was my mom who introduced me to God in a way that went beyond going to church and reciting prayers. The way she talked about God made Him a very real and present friend, like she was pulling Him in to come and shake my hand.
Thinking back to my childhood then funky middle school years and my not so cool high school years; I remembered so many God moments. God was there through the braces and the awful bangs and the friends I still have today from way back when.
Flipping through my bible now and seeing all the grafitti of underlining and dates and circled words and questions; I see me and God in an ongoing conversation.
That’s when it hits me. That’s when I remember this lovely piece about looking for God. Each and every time I’ve gone chasing after Him, I find He’s already chasing after me.
The God who makes the sun rise, who aligned all the right people at just the right time to get me where I belong, who put a rainbow in the sky as a promise so long ago; He has been chasing after me all along.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord.”Jeremiah 29:13-14
He’s chasing after you too, the Bible tells me so 🙂
Look at the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis Chapters 37-50. Joseph’s life did not go as planned. He suffered.He went through broken relationships, betrayal, imprisonment. His life shows how a good God and suffering can exist. And, I think a huge part of that is because while Joseph was busy chasing after God; God was busy chasing Joseph. And if you zoom out and look at Joseph’s brothers and his dad and the prison guard you’ll see how God was waiting and hoping on all of them too, not just Joseph. It took Joseph’s life to bring others to a life with God. His story, my story, your story show God’s favor looks different than human favoritism. So, if you’re hurting right now in some way, don’t you think for one second that because you are down, God is gone.
“The Lord was with Joseph.” Genesis 39:2, 21, 23
“Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff – they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” Psalm 139:7-8
Dang it. He does not quit.
I’m doing a bible study now on Elijah with a circle of sweet friends. Priscilla Shirer, the author of the study, points out Elijah and Jonah’s stories for comparison. Elijah was in constant communication with God with a life full of obedience in action. And God was with him. It wasn’t easy but Elijah didn’t quit God. Jonah, on the other hand, hears that God wants him to go to Nineveh. Jonah said “nah” and ran away. As the story goes, he ended up in the belly of a whale. According to the Storybook Bible (which is one of my favorites) this is what happens next:
After three days, the fish spat Jonah safely onto a sandy beach. Just then, Jonah heard someone calling his name. “Go to Nineveh,” God said. And this time? Jonah said, YES!” He went straight to Nineveh and told everyone God’s wonderful message. ‘Even though you’ve run far from God, he can’t stop loving you,’ Jonah told them. ‘Run to him!”
There it is. Run to Him.
Maybe chasing isn’t your speed but can I encourage you to start turning towards Him? A simple invitation right now with eyes wide open and your heart too; “Come Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20) is all you need.
Right now, try shifting your view, re-positioning your heart and you’ll find a big, powerful, creative, promise-keeping, good God is chasing you.
He has been all along.