This morning when I awoke from my slumbers, to my delight, it had snowed. To some of us here in sunny California snow is a real treat. It was only 5:00 a.m., so it was necessary to turn on the porch light to see the beauty outside. After starting a fire and opening the curtains, I decided to start my work day and sat at my computer. I had to glance outside where the wonder of the snow attracted my attention. To my amazement the snow was only on the right side of the house and yard! Hummmm. Now how could that be? Was one side of my entire home and yard warmer than the other? Had the wind blown all the snow to the east? It was just the oddest sensation to see snow on only one side of my yard. In just seconds I pondered all these thoughts and came to the conclusion that because of the reflection of the porch light, I could only see the snow on the one side. Of course there was snow all the way around my little piece of the world. However, it is truly amazing to look outside and discover that only the illumined snow can be seen. The rest just looks like a normal yard. This immediately created an analogy in my mind concerning relationships with others. They can only see what we illuminate. I wonder if others see how the cares of the world weigh us down, or do we shine with confidence in God? I can say that I have faith in God, but if at the same time I am complaining about my situations, then I wonder which is prevalent? Is it Adam or Christ whom they see? Which one is brought to their awareness? After all, only the one which is illuminated can be seen.
Our Lord spoke clearly about this illumination when he said, "No man, when he lights a candle, puts it in a secret place, neither under a basket, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. The light of the body is the eye: therefore when your eye is single, your whole body also is full of light; but when your eye is evil, your body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in you be not darkness. If your whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle does give you light.” (Luke 11:33) It is necessary to realize that the word evil which is used is this scripture is from the Greek word meaning toil, anguish or pain. (Strongs 4192) Try rereading the scripture using the above definition in the place of evil. I believe he is saying that when we see only the cares of this world, or the pain and sickness that we are enduring, then we only illuminate these areas of our lives to others. The light, or understanding, that Christ has given us is hidden. To illuminate him we must spend our time sharing the good news he has shared with us. Philippians 4:8 & 9 tells us exactly what to do so we can shine. "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honest, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you." (Phil 4:8-9) To top it off there is a bonus if we do this. And wow, what bonus! The God of peace will be with us!
I sat contemplating just what our Lord was saying about illumination and I found that he brought illumination into the world. He said, “I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”(John 8:12) We know that there was already light from the sun, so this had to be more than actual daylight. The more I learn, the more I understand that the Bible is a book of types and shadows, analogies and parables. The illumination or enlightening that our Lord brought was one that shed awareness on man’s mind. We know that this awareness did not stop with Jesus because he went on to say, "What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops." (Mat 10:27). When our mind becomes illuminated we are then to illuminate others. It is his desire that we share what we have learned. And what have we heard? For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. The key word here is LOVE. What do people see? Is it the love of Christ or the care’s of the world?
Now the sun is coming up and the light of the world is being shed so I can see clearly the beauty of my white surroundings. There really is snow on both sides of my yard. Light is dawning on my world and with it comes understanding. All is being illumined to my eyes. But what is truly wonderful is that my understanding has also been enlightened. What a wonderful day of awareness. The beauty of Christ in us is the same in the world today as it was 2000 years ago when Jesus walked among men. That same love and compassion for the world is now evident in us. As the people flocked to Jesus so will they come to us when Christ in us is brought to light. Could anything be more beautiful?