“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honour and praise and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
My parents named me Clare Felicity; it’s a lot to live up to. It means bright, clear, light, illustrious and happy. But for at least a week (probably longer) my heart has been heavy, almost despairing.
The news we got two weeks ago about the need for a transplant, the risks of relapse, the options, the side effects, the possibilities have clouded my mind with such dread. My heart is heavy within me. I cannot speak; I can not pick up the phone. I wish I could erase all this information from my mind and live as if it never happened. I want to go and take her from the hospital and never go back. I want to believe that it’s all over. She looks so well. She acts so strong. How can they possibly be right? How can my precious daughter have Leukaemia? Surely it’s all just a bad dream.
I try to make sense of the things I believe God has called me to do with my life. I want to let my light shine but there is none left in me. I have no light. I have no hope. As my heart sinks heavy in my belly I see a vision of the full moon resting on the ocean. When the sun has set I drive to my favourite look out. I am sure that it will be there to bring me hope but tonight it’s not there. So I get out of my car, because it should be there and I turn around looking up. “Where is the moon? Where is the moon?” I whisper. I can see the distant lights of fishing trawlers out at sea. I can smell the fragrant sauces cooking across the road at the Asian Takeaway, I can feel the evening chill on my cheeks, I can hear the waves crashing on the sand, I can almost taste the salt of the sea but I cannot sea the moon. Has it sunken into the ocean of despair as well?
Isaiah 30:26 & 29
“Moreover, the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, like the light of seven days [concentrated in one], in the day that the Lord binds up the hurt of His people, and heals their wound [inflicted by Him because of their sins].
You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart as when one marches in procession with a flute to go to the temple on the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel.”
“You are Clair de la lune – light of the moon.” I hear the Holy Spirit whisper. My knowledge of French is very limited but I know the tune. I have taught music to children for long enough to know this gentle lullaby. Then suddenly I ask my Father, “Does the moon create light, or does it reflect it?” And I hear His thunderous laugh. I feel his gentle arms caress me, like He has been telling me all along. “Let go and let me, carry her. Lean on me, lean not on your own understanding. Do not let your heart be troubled. I have overcome the world. Be still and know that I am God.”
Yet I feel the responsibility is all mine. Mine to be brave, mine to shine, and mine to create opportunities. Earlier in the week a friend sent me this passage but it made no sense until now.
“I am the Lord, and there is no one else; there is no God besides Me. I will gird and arm you, though you have not known Me,
That men may know from the east and the rising of the sun and from the west and the setting of the sun that there is no God besides Me. I am the Lord, and no one else [is He].
I form the light and create darkness, I make peace [national well-being] and I create [physical] evil (calamity); I am the Lord, Who does all these things.”
Who am I to question God? Who am I to think I can make a difference? My responsibility is to trust, to yield, to surrender and obey. I can’t create the light. I can’t even reflect it not unless I spend time with the ‘sun’. It is in His hands and He will deliver me.
“And God made the two great lights- the greater light (the sun) to rule the day and the lesser light (the moon) to rule the night. He also made the stars.
And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good (fitting, pleasant) and He approved it.”
In His perfect timing, we will reflect His glory; he will give us government over darkness. Our light will shine because it is His reflected glory. It has nothing to do with my greatness and everything to do with him.
We are created in God’s image to shine for Him. We are formed to bring light into dark places. It is “not by might, not by power but by His Spirit” that enables us. As we cry to the Lord, He will say ‘Here I am.’ He takes us away from the yoke of our oppression. It is He who “causes our light to rise in darkness, our obscurity to be like noon. God guides us continually, satisfying us in drought making strong our bones. We will become like a watered garden and like a spring whose waters fail not. Our ancient ruins shall be rebuilt and we will be called Repairer of the Breach, Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.” (Isaiah 58: 9-12; paraphrased).