Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
What do you mean food doesn’t fix everything? Well, I don’t know if it is because I am from the South or because I am a Baptist, but I just know food makes everything better. There is nothing like a healthy (uh, perhaps unhealthy) dose of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, well-seasoned (hog jowl or some other appropriate grease source) green beans and a large portion of bread) to make everything better. And, of course, don’t forget dessert.
The other evening, I came home from a rather difficult meeting. I walked in the door and my wife Judy, who can read me like a book, instantly said, “do you need to self-medicate?” I love her…she knows. Off to the Dairy Bar we went and in just a few minutes I was feeling better thanks to a salted-caramel concrete. Yup, the saying used to be “take two aspirins and call me in the morning.” Now it is, “eat two chocolate cookies with a glass of cold milk and call me in the morning.” Oh, the joy.
So, we have this rose bush in our incredibly beautiful yard—which by the way is also due to Judy and her green thumb. This rose bush is on an arbor by our back door which used to be a great spot. It bloomed and as you walked through the arbor you were immersed in their sweet, lush smell. It was good. But over time the bush has become not as healthy and doesn’t bloom near as much.
Judy and I were sitting in the yard one morning and she made the comment that the rose bush had a single bloom. So, I casually mentioned that maybe she should feed it. Remember, that fixes everything. A good shot of rose bush food and bam here come the blooms. But she told me I was wrong. The problem wasn’t that the rose bush was starving for food—it was starving for light. Here’s what has happened.
Just to the east of the rose bush where the morning sun comes in, two trees have grown—a dogwood and a redbud. Both are great trees, and they seem to be real happy. But in the process of growing, they have shut off a lot of the morning sunshine from the rose bush and that is why it is suffering. Judy said that the rose bush can survive the way it is but without enough sunlight it won’t and can’t bloom. What we end up with is a rose bush that is just getting by and that will never really be what it was intended to be—a source of beauty with the sweet aroma of a new day.
So, somewhere in the future there is a good chance that the rose bush will probably have to be moved to a place where it can thrive and that means more sun. It will be a dramatic change and it might even be difficult but unless we do something the rose will never be and do what it was meant to be and do. Hmmmm.
I wonder if that is the problem with me—with you? I wonder if we are growing in a place where the soil might be right but there just isn’t enough light? I wonder if we need more Son-shine? You see, we might believe that if our lives just had more stuff, more toys, more of this or more of that, we would be happy. But the truth of the matter—we just need more of Jesus.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” Wow. First, He affirms He is the light we are looking for. It might seem easier, even logical to just put a light bulb out by the rose bush, but that light would be insufficient and could never replace the light of the sun. And trust me, the light we need in our lives can never come from religion, denomination or some other “self-medication.” We need the true light that can only come from Him.
But He says something else. He declares that if we walk with Him two things will happen. We won’t have to just survive in the darkness or starve for light and in fact we will have the light that brings life. Bam…just what we need…just what the doctor ordered. And if that isn’t enough, since we walk with Him there will never be the need for a transplant because we walk with the Light—we move with the Light. Because of that, no circumstances will ever be able to hurt us.
Well, it’s just a matter of time but we will have to move our friend to a sunnier place in our yard. And I will feel sorry for the bush as we dig him up and prune him back, but it will be for his good. After the initial pain he will bloom again and that will make it worthwhile. So, what do you need to do in your life to once again walk with the Son? What things need to be pruned back or what needs to be given up so you will be free to walk with Him again? Yup it might be painful but just imagine your life as you are blooming once again. Imagine the fragrant smell of life with Him. Make that decision today. Go ahead and rest in Him. He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne