In the predawn hours on this wintery Friday, my dog Harley is nestled on my lap. Sleep eludes me, so we are in the living room, snuggled into white cotton blankets, finding comfort in the back-and-forth motion of a wicker rocker. The street lamp outside the window illuminates a clean, white snow. The light of the floor lamp near our rocker floods the pages of a book, allowing me to re-read The Shack.
There is something about December's short winter days and long cold nights, something magnetic and dark, something that pulls me toward despondency. And in the weeks that follow, in the days of January, as I climb out of the dark and uninhabitable caves of depression I am helped by revisiting familiar stories: Gone with the Wind, It's A Wonderful Life, The Shack ...
These are the earthly measuring sticks against which change in me is self-measured.
Like a lost gift found behind a wilting and abandoned Christmas tree, something I hadn't seen before leaps from the page, bringing life to my tired soul. I close the book, stopping to ponder the idea that darkness is not a thing of itself with mass and shape and power, but rather darkness is the absence of light, evil the absence of good.
Christ Jesus has illuminated the way.
Those who trust in Jesus have been given redeemed hearts, but our bodies and the world in which we live is still physically affected by sin. Our bodies still die, our psyche is still marred, we still are prone to the selfish pursuit of being our own god, and Creation is still screwed up, but this is not the end. Our redemption has just begun. - from Beliefs, Fellowshipcf.org
So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord ... For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News. - 2 Timothy 1:8-10 NLT excerpt