(Note: Some have asked about details for the Digging Deep Israel tour. We’ve hit a glitch in scheduling, but hopefully we will have those details in a couple of days. We’re thankful for patient friends.)
Sometimes the well is just about dry. I can’t write a blog post because sleep deprivation has stolen what little mental capacity I had in the first place. Putting together a thought is challenging, much less transferring to the written word. I know there are many of you who have had challenging seasons of life and you are there with me. Well, maybe not as mentally depleted, but YOU started with a greater mental capacity BEFORE the drain. (Don’t get me wrong…I love the drain because it means I get to spend time with my father, who is 94 years old. The challenge is a privilege in the lives of my dad’s children. It’s a blessing, albeit a very depleting one.)
Allen Webster, at the Jacksonville church of Christ in Jacksonville, Alabama, yesterday, reminded us that we can see further in the darkness than we can in the daylight hours. (You can watch those lessons here and I’d recommend them: http://jvillecoc.com/sermons.) We can see the sun in the daytime, of course, and that sun is about 93 million miles away. It’s pretty impressive how far we can see when we’re looking for light. But, oh, at night!…When we are in the darkness and looking for light, we can see stars that are 7500 light years away. The star Eta Carinae is over 44,000,000,000,000,000 miles away and we can see it with the naked eye! Can you marvel with me at how much farther we can see in the darkness than we can in the daylight?
When we look for the light that is Jesus Christ, we can often see Him better in the dark times of life. When we are looking for heaven’s hope, we see it perfunctorily in sickness, sorrow, loneliness or death. When things are going our way…when living the Christian life seems pretty easy…when we’ve “got this”, sometimes we stop looking so hard for His Will and for heaven. We pray more in the darkness. We praise more in the darkness. We study more in the darkness and we see the needs of those around us more when we experience need ourselves.
One more thing about challenging times: This week I received some very vitriolic messages from a friend who just can’t stand this blog or the things I write and teach. I mean she really hates them. Perhaps she is right in some of her judgments. But the point I want to make is not about who is right. The exchange just got me thinking…this:
We should all be careful about the tone with which we approach each other with criticism or confrontation. I, Cindy Colley, should be always careful about HOW I say the things I say, especially when they are things with which many will vehemently disagree. You never know exactly what kind of day or week your adversary may have had. You may be unaware of personal challenges she may be encountering. She could be in the darkness, looking for light at the end of her tunnel. While we may be forced to express oppositional views, let’s give each other grace. Let’s put words and actions on the parts of those with whom we disagree in the best possible light, even assuming their paths may be difficult at the moment. I may be able to help someone to heaven without blurting out that she is headed for hell at the get-go. I can help someone have a cool head, but not if I’m biting off said head. I can help someone know truth, but not if I know-it-ALL. There’s righteous judgment to be made, of course, and I must be discerning. But putting myself in the shoes, for a moment, of the one I’m addressing, will help me speak with the tone that will be most likely to truly help toward heaven. In short, I must WANT to sit down beside her around the throne and every communication must be toward that eternal end.