Saturday, July 8, 2017

When the Light Is Out But You're Too Stressed to Notice


When all my family was here last weekend, Ryan decided we should introduce Hannah to First Monday. We loaded into two cars and headed out. I was in the lead car with Ryan and Hannah. My niece, Katie, sister (Cookie), and kids were in the car behind us. 

We hadn't driven far before my sister texted me to let me know my tail lights were out. No brake lights. Nothing. They had already diagnosed my problem. Either a fuse or a short.

My lights had gone out, and I was completely clueless.

It took me a few days to get to my mechanic's shop when it was open. I dreaded the visit. I had visions of expensive repairs to correct the problem.

As it turns out, the cause of my lightlessness was not a fuse or a short. Both light bulbs had burned out. It only cost $15 to repair. 

This morning, I pondered the lights-out situation and wondered how long the problem existed before I knew about it. No one flagged me down to tell me. No one mentioned it after I got out of my car. I never thought to check them.

When you don't see your own light, how do you know it's gone?

We're supposed to be the light of the world, but what if we don't know our light's out (or dimmed)? If people can't "see" our light, all our words are pointless. 

Yesterday was one of those rare days when I was at the end of my rope. The expectations for what I "should" do far exceeded the reality of what I could do. I did what I was "supposed" to do, which meant I couldn't do what I thought God had called me to do. 

I was already stretched too thin...I spent the day fighting back tears and struggling with exhaustion. I wanted to lash out at the people who weren't exhausted and overwhelmed. I hate to admit it, but I resented their cheerfulness. 

Those not-much-like-Jesus feelings were a good indicator that my soul-light was dimmed nearly out.

I should've stayed home. 

My light wasn't extinguished completely, but it was so dim as to be impossible to see. Exhaustion will do that. Especially emotional exhaustion.

Today, I'm making a different decision. I've already had my quiet time, studied my Bible, gone through my prayer list. 

For the rest of my day, I'm doing what I know I must, those things that only I can do, and I'm doing them in order of priority. I'm taking Sam to the grocery store, helping him settle down for the day, finishing novel edits. I may or may not try to cut my grass. I may, or may not, pull weeds. 

Today, first things will be first.

The most important thing has already happened. I've given my lights-nearly-out-in-my-soul problem to the Light Giver, God Himself. I've asked Him to bring the kind of refreshment that rekindles the flame and helps it burn brighter. I've surrendered the good and embraced the best.

I don't quite know what to do about all the challenges I face, but I know Who does. I know He'll give me wisdom when I need it.

I'm surely not the only one who pushes until near collapse, who faces problems too big for them...If you're in that fragile place of dim-lighted illumination, take heart. Our God is light, and He longs to give His light to us, His light-bearers...Why not take your failing light to Him and allow Him to rekindle the flame and restore the glow?

"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." John 1:4,5 nasb
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In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: When God Mandates Rest and We Refuse to Comply

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