“It’s about to get real.”
Have you ever caught yourself repeating those words? Maybe as the contractions quickened in the hospital or when baby’s fusses first turned into tantrums and his fist hit you hard in the face? Well, another milestone came quick to me recently, and all I could think is — Yep. It’s about to get real.
For me, it was our oldest boys at 4 and 3 years old going off to preschool to make friends and listen to teachers and eat lunch with strangers they didn’t yet know. I got questions like – will they like me, will I make friends, will you be there to pick me up, and I nodded a confident yes, yes, yes to each one.
And we hugged good-bye. They were unsure at first, yet brave enough to stay and be away from me and trust – and in my mommy heart I knew it’s about to get real. Real life – no bubble to surround and protect them. Real feelings – that mommy cannot rush to comfort, and real friendships that form without me knowing their parents or guardians or how they speak about hope and heartache.
And my faith has to be the real thing. It has to be.
So, I’ve spent some more time with God and my Bible and a yellow highlighter. I say — my Bible– but it will be my oldest son’s one day, after I’ve marked it up with notes for him, just as I will for my other two boys. This sharing of God-sized lessons stems from some advice a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) speaker gave at a meeting last year. One of the best gifts we could give.
I opened the Bible, praying God reveal Himself through fresh eyes – for Him to give me ears to hear. And this is what I heard —
Don’t let those boys be afraid of the dark — nor let yourself either. There’s a light that’s always been on. Always will be.
I’ve been involved in a separate study of scripture lately, which has also emphasized Jesus’ exhortation to enjoy the light, share the light — the kind of light that cannot be hidden, so this new revelation makes me giddy in His goodness and glory.
You see, I just read the story of creation — the same verses I’ve read over and over before.
First day. Second day. Third day. Fourth day. Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh. And I read again – highlighter in bright yellow. And I took notes. Look with me —
Genesis 1:3 “Let there be light.” He (God) separated light from darkness – day from night. On the first day — HE separated them.
Skip down to verse 4–
“Let there be light in the vault of the sky to separate day from night.” Sun, moon, stars — given as signs to mark time. Sacred time. And to give light to the Earth.
And I wondered — how can this be?
And I read and re-read and I saw it — God’s power and providence before me.
What my ears hear —
God WAS the light from DAY ONE. Not the sun, moon and stars. He didn’t need them. He gave them as signs for our good to help document time. How quickly it passes.
God said let the Earth see Himself — see His reflection — His goodness from DAY ONE.
So why does the Bible not say God created the sun, moon, stars first — wouldn’t that be rational — if man were to think it up — of course, he’d surely put it that way. But instead, God made sky, land, seas, plants. Then, He made the sun, moon and stars.
Why– because the sun, moon, stars are not gods (although God’s enemy has certainly tempted mankind to believe so). He didn’t need them to occupy the sky or produce land or seas or grow tomatoes on the vine, plump and juicy.
However, God in His graciousness, gave them to us, set them in the sky to mark time and show us a physical light to help us see, feel better, get around — to help these finite bodies we live in to function on this finite planet we live on. All in His infinite power and love.
And I am in awe, because God still speaks. And as I watched my oldest fall asleep tonight, I said thank you to God for using my boy and this season of change to remind me how real and how personal He is.
Our God is so good, friends. And I want more of Him.
So I am taking time tonight to journal and encourage the same boys who will one day read those highlighted Bibles and the pages I write now — to know that God is always near and shining brighter than any of the darkness that snickers and snares and tries to cover Him up.
And I’m hoping to encourage anyone reading these words of mine to read His living words for yourself — and read them fresh. Don’t rely on knowing of a God of your grandparents, instead meet the God who moved heaven and earth to punish the sin He cannot stand and pardon us by The only Way,
God can use our children to get our attention. He can use an old friend or even an article we read to stop us from suffering in a world where we could keep tripping over ourselves to worship ourselves — and instead hope, trust, drench ourselves in a kind of grace that is as real as it gets. There is grace for today.
Thank you for taking this journey with me.
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12