Thursday, August 21, 2008

Unused Flashlights

And his life was the Light of Men. John 1:4

If you have the Light, walking in the Light John 12:35
For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. John 6:55-56

Last winter on my way home I stumbled. It was a dark night with snow and ice piled on the ground. Full garbage cans and trash strewed the sidewalks. The next day was trash pick-up. I stumbled along but did not fall. The funny thing is that as I stumbled I knew I had a flashlight in my bag. I just was too lazy and tired and intent on my journey to actually stop and use the Light I had.

The Scriptures tell us often that we have the Truth. We have Light. We know the Way. We do not stumble as those who do not have any light. We have a vision of God’s goodness, power, and care. We have the mind of Christ. We have the peace of God ruling in our hearts. We have the Word of Life. We are more than conquerors. Why then do so many Christians stumble? Quite simply, we don’t use the Light we have.

A few days ago I found myself in the middle of a panic attack. As Christians we are supposed to be careful what we hear. But I had not been careful: I had allowed myself to listen to television talk shows which continually stated that obesity led to an early death from diabetes, cancer, and a long list of ailments. The more these pontificators encouraged me to lose weight for my own good, the more fear seemed to encroach on every side. I could not sleep and went through much anxiety as the year progressed toward its close. Then yesterday I realized I had not used the Light the Lord had given me. I pondered for a moment: what kind of light did I have exactly?

Oh, there were many! The power of the promises of Psalms 91 would keep me safe throughout the upcoming year. God’s blessings on my tithes would bring prosperity. The power in the Word of God would renew my mind and spirit; and a renewed soul would lead me to eating less. Trusting in the living Word would transform my body if I leaned on God for comfort and not on food. More light dawned, but still the fear strove with me. Then all at once I remembered the power of the blood and body of Jesus. Yes, yes! That was the Light I had neglected to use. The body of Jesus is meat indeed, the blood of Jesus is drink indeed. There is emotional, spiritual, and physical healing in this True Food. In the past year whenever fear began to oppress me, and whenever I became ill, I would rush to the benefits of the Eucharist. I have trusted communion as a gracious gift from God ever since my friend, writer John Sherrill, told me God had used communion to heal cancer. John is a writer for Guidepost and the writer of many wonderful Christian books. I immediately told my husband that we were lax and forgetful. How could we have forgotten the power of the blood and body of Christ?

When he returned, we knelt beside our beds and thanked God for the body and blood of His Son Jesus. We thanked Him for the unseen but nevertheless active power of the Blood, Name, and Word of God. We praised Him for the Work the Blood of Jesus was doing in us, preserving our bodies and soul unto everlasting life.

Many Christians have faith for miracles, but the average Christian has faith for gradual healing. And where faith is large, but unbelief is just as large, and where the mountain is large, Communion is efficacious. God is merciful indeed. I had prepared myself for a slow healing. I would look for the blade, the stem, and then at last the full flower. I figured my healing would come in several months. Imagine my surprise: I fell asleep in peace and when I woke I realized the panic had fled. As did the fear. I had turned on the Light that God had given me. The Light had shined in darkness and the darkness could not overcome it.

Prayer: Lord, help me to trust in the unseen power of faith. When we pray to you, or receive communion or the laying on of hands, we receive so much. But often we ignore or belittle the power of these wonderful gifts. Many times, we think we have not received anything Lord, and so we neglect to act on your word or walk in faith. Lord, help us to always remember that you are always working and that you have given us all the gifts we need for this life. In Jesus’ Name, we pray.

Luke 2:32; Ps 34:5; Proverbs 29:13; John 3:20; John 8:12; John 11:10; John 12:36, 46; Rom 13:12, Is 51:4


Anonymous said...

Hi Carole,

My sermon used the term "unused flashlights" a few weeks ago, so its refreshing that we are on the same page!

Sorry I been missing the blogs, I am so busy :)


Carole McDonnell said...

Oh my gosh!!!!!!!!!!

Isn't God great? That we should have the same phrase. Doesn't it just make you jump for joy the little sweet things God does to show us he is God with us?

No problem with missing the blog. You're busy. I read your blog but I don't post. Haven't read the books or other reasons. Teenage abuse and obsession is an interesting thing, though. -C

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