Friday, April 25, 2008

Under the Sunlight

Yesterday Mu and I met for breakfast. We tried to not overstay our welcome at the restaurant, and after an hour or so, we took our conversation out into the parking lot. We stood there, talking, letting the sun warm us from the tips of our heads to our toes.

"Now I know why the Druids- was it the Druids?- worshipped the sun. I mean, isn't this sunlight incredible after a long winter?" she said.

I teased her about going pagan on me but I could laugh about this because my friend Mu is very sincere about digging into God's truth, asking good questions, searching for wisdom.

We were feeling light-hearted and happy yesterday. She celebrated the resolution our family had come to: our son, Alex, was going off to the college of his choice, far away, down south- and right where he should be. It all came together. God closed some doors and opened wide this door- and though this college is 13 hours away by car, it is dear to my heart already. When Alex and I visited in January we felt "at home" there, and the Media Communications program there is tops. My son is going to "go for it" and I'm whooping it up and celebrating this open road before him. I'll cry, later, when I miss him. But now it's time to anticipate how good it will be.

In the afternoon, I visited "Mother Joy"- a woman on our Women's LIFE Ministry Team. This lady is an older woman of faith, a bold explorer, a joy and a delight. She is recuperating after a fall. But this woman- though she is ...shall we say "advanced in years"?- is young at heart. I came to visit her and encourage her in her recovery, but she bolstered my spirits, my resolve to be a trooper for the Lord. I won't even list all the things she's been through, and yet she sits there, smiling, proclaiming how good God has been to her. Her joy is evidence that she has experienced the "goodness of God in the land of the living"- because this woman is alive in her faith, her expectation of good. And because she believes that she will receive good from God, she is quick to perceive it.

One of my favorite verses having to do with joy and fruitful living is Psalm 128:2 -
"You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you."

Obviously there are seasons in our life that we feel more well than at other times. There are times when we are reaping after years of sowing- such as parents who after 18 years are seeing their child go off to college, full of hope and expectation.

Then there are seasons in our life that we just want to get through. Sometimes I am about to rejoice over a victory and I remember a problem that I have. That's when I admonish myself, "Lauren- you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you." My part in the picture is to fully relish being a child of God who has no doubt that God can work it all His His perfect plan.

My active faith sometimes requires me to spend time out in the sunshine, relishing the warmth and the joy I feel in that moment, knowing that it's part of God's plan for me to know how good I have it. I have a good God who loves me, is watching over me. I can trust Him. My responsibility is to perceive how His light makes the path before me become clear. I'm not supposed to live in darkness. And every chance I get to experience the sunlight, to lift my face to its warmth in gratitude, I'm supposed to remember the God who thought up the whole idea of light, of a shining sun that warms the earth. I'm supposed to remember that I haven't even begun to understand the warmth and the generosity of His loving heart toward me.

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