I am an avid gardener, although every year I ask myself “why.” I live in Central Oregon and our weather can be very challenging, 90°+ during the day and low 40s – high 30s at night. Clear skies in the morning and by mid-day a rainstorm. We have crazy, unpredictable, ever-changing weather.
This year was particularly hard. I started confident – planted early, everything was growing really well. Until late June and the thunderstorms rolled in. One particular storm dropped significant rain, which then turned to pea-size hail and the garden was nearly destroyed. Leaves were shred, tender sprouts were crushed and any blossoms formed were gone. It was the worst hailstorm I had experienced in Central Oregon.
However, one thing withstood the assault of the pounding hail, our sunflowers. The leaves were a little pitted but they stood strong, towering over the rest of what was once the garden.
I like sunflowers. There is something about their big bright flowers that make me smile. They make me feel like an accomplished gardener. Although in reality, they will grow anywhere and require no maintenance. Sunflowers, the variety, size, and colors just make me happy!
You may already know this little fact, but the young flowers follow the light. In the morning, they face East soaking in the sun’s rays and by evening they have turned West – it is fascinating to watch!
The sunflower’s behavior is one we should all consider mimicking – following the light.
When life is peaceful, prosperous, and easy – follow the light!
When life is a struggle and complicated – follow the light!
When your children make the wrong choices, the dog is sick, and you and your husband/friend/business partner are at odds – follow the light!
When the diagnosis comes back positive – follow the light!
The sunflower has no other option, it was created to follow, innately equipped to follow.
Humans, not so much. We have a choice to follow, free will, and we are innately equipped to wander.
So, what does it mean to follow the light?
In John 8:12 we learn,
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.”
New International Version (NIV)
True light comes from a single source, Jesus. He will provide direction for our lives and in the midst of our sin and disobedience offers light to show us the way to repentance and restoration.
As we build a relationship with Him, we begin to reflect His light in our own lives. We enjoy learning about Him, following His truth, thinking more about the needs of others than our own wants, and holding on to Him in the face of disappointment and despair.
Our lives are transformed.
Matthew 5:16 tells us,
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Our transformed life, the light that shines in us, can then be used to tell the world about God, His love, and His amazing grace. We do this by the way we live our lives, share our talents and skills, and communicate our story.
Our light draws others to Jesus.
But we know that as humans, we sin and often choose to ignore God’s instruction. We choose to ignore the light of His truth.
Matthew 6:22-23 challenges us,
(22) The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. (23) But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
We turn our faces away from God and follow our own path. Darkness surrounds us; lust, pride, self-righteousness – our sins.
Yet, He waits patiently for us to acknowledge our sinfulness and return. Be restored by His light.
There will come a day when we will experience His eternal light. Living in His presence in our heavenly home. This is not something we earn or win as a prize for living the best life. It is freely given to those who trust in Him.
Revelations 22:5 paints a picture of our future,
There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever.
There will be no more need to strive or struggle, we will rest in the warm glow of Jesus’ love.
Our faces will search for His and just like the sunflower, we will move in cadence with Jesus. Following Him from East to West, across the heavens for eternity.
We will have consistently, obediently, humbly followed His light.
Ladies, we can live confidentially. Jesus is our light. As we trust Him, we reflect His light to a broken and hurting world, and then we will rest in Him eternally.
Follow the light dear sisters.
Follow it when you don’t think you can persist. Follow the light when you are fearful and living with regret. Follow it when the darkness of heartbreak, longing and, shame work to control your mind.
BeLOVED, follow the light!
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Visit the new devotion post, Adam and Eve – Wandering Costs, on the Devotion page.