Monday, December 20, 2010


It's Monday morning Lord, and I have just spent some time staring at one of my screen saver pictures. They came installed with the computer and they rotate through every day, so I have looked at them over and over again. There should be nothing new in what I see.

When I booted up the computer this morning, I found myself looking at that beautiful picture of a lake with mountains in the background and big chunks of ice on the shore of the lake. I just assume the picture was taken in Alaska and the ice chunks are from a glacier. I really like the picture.

However, this morning my eyes were not drawn to the lake, or the mountains, or the ice chunks; as is usually the case. This morning my eyes were immediately drawn to the sun which was shining over the top of the mountain. I know the sun has always been part of the picture, but somehow I either of never noticed it before or have not paid attention to it.

This morning it was blazing with a brightness that made me wonder how I could have missed it or how is it that it was not the first thing I noticed each time I looked at that picture. It was right there in front of me like a beautiful gift blazing light and warmth and joy into the sadness of my heart that was so heavy this weekend.

I think it was Your gift to me. It was You who cast my eyes toward the sun. It was You who made that sun shine so brightly that I could not miss it. It was You who was sayng "not only is there light at the end of the tunnel; there is light right now". It was You who was saying "Christmas is not just a time of joy for others; it will be a time of joy for you John". It was You who was saying "you may feel like you are swimming in glacially cold water John, but get on the beach and let the sun fill you with warmth".

All I can say is THANK YOU! You know just how much I needed to see the sun. I needed to reflect with joy on last evening and time with my family. I needed to relish the wonder of grandchildren giving me a big hug and telling me how much they love me. I needed to be with my children and extended was a great evening...and...the sun was shining.

You know that this morning I needed not only to look at the sun, but I needed to look to the Son. I need to focus on the one who is the Light of the world. The Light that shines in darkness. I thank You for the gift of sunshine and most of all the gift of Your Son. He is my light and my salvation and the Joy of my Christmas. Thank You Lord...Amen

1 comment:

  1. John, I saw this devotion (below) today and thought of you after reading your blog from Saturday. Your note today proves you already know it. Stay strong in the Lord!

    “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
    -Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)

    The runners slipped past me one by one. When I looked behind me, I didn’t see anyone left. Denial set in. I couldn’t possibly be in last place, could I? It had felt like I was running right on pace!
    I cranked my neck around—something our coach had told us never to do—and, in a panic, again, I saw no one. I couldn’t reconcile myself to the thought of finishing in last place. No runner who competes at state their freshman year could possibly finish last at the district meet in their sophomore year.

    I knew I had to make the decision whether or not to finish the race. The thought crossed my mind that if I dropped out, I wouldn’t finish last, but something in my heart told me that that’s not what was supposed to happen.

    The home stretch appeared quicker than I wanted it to, and all I could hear was my dad’s voice yelling from the finish line, “Finish like a champ!” After the race, I limped away embarrassed and angry. Little did I know the lesson God was preparing for me during that district meet.

    I walked away from the race angry, but what I began to understand weeks after the anger subsided was that God works through our trials and failures in order to build our character. God tells us in Romans 5:3-5 that these trials build our endurance, which then builds our character.

    From that race and on, I took with me the wisdom that neither winning nor losing is what is important to God. What matters to Him is how we finish the race—both in sports and in life.