Friday, November 23, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: The Light


Choosing The Light

A devotional by Gail Kittleson

“Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.” ~Luke 1:78-79 (NKJV)

My middle school English teacher would have diagrammed this complicated sentence with ease. She’d point out, “The meat of the statement, subject and verb, are in the second phrase and the other segments answer our questions—how, who, when, and why. But the writer begins with the source of what is to come...the heartfelt mercies of our God. Do you see how the author carefully arranged everything for clarity and purpose?”

Some of us saw—some of us didn’t. But today, we can focus on those “How and why,” which are questions that every journalist subscribes to answering.

How will the sunrise break? 

Through God’s heartfelt mercies. 

Upon whom will the light shine? 

Us—we who sit in darkness and death’s shadow. 

Why? (For what purpose?)

To enlighten our steps and bring us into peace. 

Allow me to illustrate my point using the Bible story about Zachariah.

Zachariah, slow to believe the angel’s prophecy that his wife would bear a son in her old age, spoke these words after his first and only child John entered the world. For nine long months, he had suffered the imposition of silence, and for decades before that, had mourned the lack of children to leave behind him when he died.

Perhaps this history helped his neighbors and friends to see how momentous his visitation had been, but still, it must’ve been difficult for Zachariah. Finally, God’s angel promised him a son, his wife had conceived in her old age, and he couldn’t express his excitement and joy. Bummer!

Once Zachariah agreed that his newborn son’s name would be John, his tongue was loosed. At long last, it was Zachariah’s turn to speak. Well aware of his imperfect faith, he’d had plenty of time to ponder what he might say at this long-awaited opportunity.

At this significant moment, a message inspired by the Holy Spirit poured forth. And what a message it was, pure poetry—pure exaltation! We might well take heed to this tale of mercy and light, drawing us from our gloomy outlook and assuring us of guidance and serenity.

My Prayer: Sometimes it’s easier to fall back into familiar negativity than to embrace Your fresh light, Father. Grant us hearts to listen to your words through Zachariah and entrust our lives to You. Deliver us from falling back from your promises in unbelief.

~*~
Author Bio:
When Gail Kittleson's not steeped in World War II research, drafting scenes, or deep in an edit of her 1940’s novels, she does a limited amount of editing for other authors.

She also facilitates writing and creativity workshops, both in Iowa and Arizona, where she and her husband like to spend part of the winter in the amazing Ponderosa pine forest under the Mogollon Rim.

Favorites: spending time with grandchildren, walking, reading, meeting new people, and hearing from readers who fall in love with her characters.

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