My wife Karen loves her plants. They all need good light, but most of them are sensitive to the cold of winter. During the warmer months they flourish in the light and warmth of the sun hanging from the lower limbs of our trees. They also line our porch steps and dot our front yard. Orchids, ferns, succulents, various cacti and her pineapple experiment all have to be sheltered from freezing and therefore lighted artificially, so in they come. Even our treadmill is converted to a plant hanger, which is good because it had been otherwise unemployed.
We’ve installed some hooks in the ceiling of our front entranceway for hanging grow lights and this year we have expanded into the living room with strings of draped LEDs to give them all equal opportunity. They do amazingly well for so little contact with the sun’s direct lighting.
We all need light
In recent meditation I was reviewing Jesus’ bold claim, “I am the light of the world,” one of several self-defining statements that His cousin John recorded for us in his Gospel account. It can be found in John 8:12. His declaration is followed by a promise that is encouraging for both someone still looking for a guru, and for those of us who have already begun a journey with Him.
“The one that follows me will not be tripped up in the dark but will have the light of life.” I note that the one who follows is the one that benefits from His light. What I see in Him and glean from Him becomes the light on my life-path. To follow is to have His light shed on my way. The hymn writer caught on to it this way,
“When we walk with the Lord, in the light of His word, what a glory He sheds on our way…”
As a caution to self, following is a trust issue. If I haven’t as yet begun, then it is for me to step into His light and begin to benefit from trusting Him. For those of us that have begun, no matter the number of years we have made Him our way, it remains that to follow is to have the light He offers. If we drop back from His light, letting some distance grow between us, the path will darken, possibly becoming as dark as ever. But to draw up close again is to have Him also draw close to us, and His light with its accompanying warmth once again discloses all obstacles in my way.
“If the light you trust is darkness, then your light is really, really dark” (Paraphrase mine)
Later on, in the final hours of His life, He shared an intimate moment with His closest friends laying out some concerns for their future. What would be the secret of their success without His direct light on their path? John records His words,
“Abide in Me…unless you abide in Me you won’t succeed, but if you abide in Me (following) and My words abide in you (My light), all I have to offer will be at your disposal and you will enjoy My love (My warmth).” (John 15:7 Paraphrase mine) He included as His promise to them to send them His Spirit as His representative to help and to lead them - and us.
As with Karen’s plants we all need the light with its warmth. Jesus is the same light and love today as yesterday and will remain so for the lives of our children if they follow.
Walk in the Light. Not quite, but something like our setup...