January 7, 2019
Verse for the Week: Ephesians 5:13; “But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes light.”
Exposure is uncomfortable. Possibly even terrifying to the point of calculated avoidance. To expose or be exposed involves uncovering something concealed or hidden.
Contrary to our negative bias, exposure often produces something positive. Profound. Interesting and beautiful. That is, if we allow the light of the Lord to illuminate His defined places of purpose.
Although most photography is digital nowadays, the best analogy for our topic this week is the old-fashion dark room.
In the dark room, the process of development comes by way of light. A specific amount of light interacts with a chemical solution over a calculated time frame. The light streaming through a negative image results in a positive picture.
In short, this process transforms a distorted image to an actual picture. A negative to a positive. It happens by way of exposure to a highly controlled and sensitive amount of light. The process enables contrast to define features, depth, and details. It’s the truest form of what the photographer intended to produce.
We see this example in Joseph when he was faced with the predicament of exposure. Matthew chapters 1 & 2 tell his story. One we know well but worth reading again.
Here we find three accounts where the Spirit of God gives clear directives as well as warnings. He does this through a process of incremental revelation. Each directive, each warning, builds on the one before to develop the vision of His purpose—getting Jesus to the land of Israel.
The account we will park on is found in Matthew 1:20—Joseph had just come to awareness that Mary, his virgin bride-to-be, was found to be pregnant. Scripture says, “But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit”.
I wonder how long he “considered” his predicament. Did he lay awake a night, tossing and turning unable to make sense of the situation? Did he pace back and forth, his thoughts running rogue concealing shame, or blame?
Life has a way of presenting predicaments that cause us pause. Cause us to ponder. To consider the how’s and why’s, the consequences and the aftermath. We tend to duck and dodge such predicaments shoving a stiff arm in defense, and denying ownership.
Even so, they are ours to own. They are present and demand consideration. In the end, we have the choice to engage or walk away but until we make that choice, we are responsible to consider them and take them to the altar of surrender.
The altar of surrender is where our knees hit the ground and our head bows low. All the noise from the outside world comes under the stark light of God’s presence.
From a human perspective, we see through a hazy filter. Details are fuzzy. Colors are muted. And intentions are often inverted. At the altar of surrender, questions gain clarity. Shadows get definition. Depth develops through contrast.
This begs the question: Am I light-sensitive?
Do you shy away from exposure? Perhaps you are the curious type, like myself, that likes a bit of challenge when it comes to the call of faith. Regardless of your bent, we all have predicaments that cause us pause.
In these moments, it is well worth the effort to spend some time under the divine light of revelation. Let it expose something you’ve never taken time to see before, or the risk to understand.
Don’t be surprised if fear rears its ugly head. Fear hinders our willingness to see beyond the natural. We fear what we don’t know or can’t understand. Shame, on the other hand, is a bully. It causes us to cower in the corner feeling small and inadequate.
Resist these feelings when they pop up. They will scatter for the darkness when the light of revelation hits them. This is a scriptural guarantee—John 12:46; “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”
Maybe it’s time to head to the dark room. Bend your knees on the altar of surrender and allow the trained eye of the master photographer, God himself, to reveal the image He intended all along.
Trust Him, even in the dark. His light is precise. Focused. Intentional. But we must be willing to give Him access through surrender. There is something beautiful only He has the power to develop in the dark.
Lord God, you know the situations and circumstances weighing heavy on my mind. You know my thoughts intimately. Help me to choose surrender. To allow you to shed light in just the right places at just the right time to reveal your good and perfect will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
This week, take some time at the altar of surrender. Lay down your pride, your fear, your insecurity and anything else that qualifies as a considerable predicament. Ask God to shed light in the dark places to reveal the true picture of His purpose just beyond what you can currently see.
Hugs for a great week and remember, you are not alone. Be blessed as things considered become clearer pictures of purpose.