by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020
Oct 22 to Jan 6 reflections from an upcoming book for tending hurting hearts at Christmas
The first light of a suggested dawn to come. One last star high in the pre-dawn sky. A brilliant white dot of twinkle. The sky around it warms to fuchsia at the horizon with violet blue above it. It is a sign. One which will not last, but indicates the dawn is not far away.
I expected the colors of the dawn to be momentary, but they stayed and changed and grew even more vibrant as if to say, “Hold on. Persist. And see Me in all things. Yes, see Me in all things. Hang onto the dawn until the rising Son is clearly and fully visible again. I am the Lord Most High and I am on my throne and here with you now.”
And then it was past. The moment. The colors faded. Would I hold onto what He had shown me? Would I hold onto hope or choose to forget the glimpses of His view? The brilliant, beautiful, colors of the cold Christmas-ending dawn were a gift and a sign. A message.
Stay with it. God is still there working in the midst. Though there be no other sign. Hold onto the promised dawn. The Son is behind it. He is rising through it and nothing can stop His coming. Though it seem to tarry, actually it will not and cannot delay.
You may not know and cannot know what this new dawn—this new day—will bring. But based on His example from the manger to the cross, you can know it will not be painless. It will not always seem easy or blessed, but He will bring His riches for all-time through it as He always has, and promises to always do going forward. It is not a promise for no pain or no evil, no injustice or the absence of hardship, but a promise of God working through the enemy’s schemes to bring His ultimate goodness. And love. Leading you. Never declaring evil is right but bringing His goodness anyway. Then the absence of death’s final power and purpose. These obliterated off the map of what we need to fear.
A Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. And will not. Jesus’ life was and is the Light. This is hope. This is joy. In this is His peace and a forward-looking that knows, through it all, where we are headed. He is the One who illuminates this singular, blessed way we are to go. The way life now and forever is to be. The text does not say the Light came into the world and the darkness was obliterated. It states that the Light is not overcome by the darkness. The darkness is unable to snuff it out.
In the darkness before the dawn, You are my constant Morning Star. You are the one who illuminates the pathway and urges me forward. Forward not unto a goal of my own contriving, but into that place in Your heart where I am at home. That place in Your essence for Your glory for which I was made. It is a turning and returning to that place in You for which You designed me. And then awe. The bliss and wonder that You long to work through me. Through me. I am such a mess! Yet, as Spirit helps me open myself to You and look into Your eyes instead of wallowing in my own tears, I am incrementally healed and joy rises up. Your Water flows over me. I am planted in Your good soil. And embracing how now is, I reach to You and find more of You in it. There is peace for my soul. Peace which co-exists with difficulty and even or perhaps especially in those places where I do not understand and will not understand until heaven. Darkness, yes, darkness, which does not lift, but Your Light in it. Your love. Your warmth and blessedly Your direction. Purpose. Purpose for my weary soul which helps me put one foot in front of the other. No longer expecting perfection. No longer striving to gain that one more thing of this earth but finding completion in how You see me and being part of Your anointed, appointed Force from heaven, where Spirit is the hope that through my weary, beaten body, Your love will indeed still flow through. My heart joined to Yours and Yours for mine. Together. Under You. In You. For You. By You. Through You. On the way home and with You now through forever. Bliss!
4 For the god of this world has blinded the unbelievers’ minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the Image and Likeness of God.
5 For what we preach is not ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves [merely] as your servants (slaves) for Jesus’ sake.
6 For God Who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts so as [to beam forth] the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of the majesty and glory of God [as it is manifest in the Person and is revealed] in the face of Jesus Christ (the Messiah).
7 However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves.
8 We are hedged in (pressed) on every side [troubled and oppressed in every way], but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair;
9 We are pursued (persecuted and hard driven), but not deserted [to stand alone]; we are struck down to the ground, but never struck out and destroyed;
10 Always carrying about in the body the liability and exposure to the same putting to death that the Lord Jesus suffered, so that the [resurrection] life of Jesus also may be shown forth by and in our bodies.
11 For we who live are constantly [experiencing] being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake, that the [resurrection] life of Jesus also may be evidenced through our flesh which is liable to death.
12 Thus death is actively at work in us, but [it is in order that our] life [may be actively at work] in you.
13 Yet we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, I have believed, and therefore have I spoken. We too believe, and therefore we speak,
14 Assured that He Who raised up the Lord Jesus will raise us up also with Jesus and bring us [along] with you into His presence.
15 For all [these] things are [taking place] for your sake, so that the more grace (divine favor and spiritual blessing) extends to more and more people and multiplies through the many, the more thanksgiving may increase [and redound] to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day.
17 For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!],
18 Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.
2 Corinthians 4:4-18
SONG Recommended: MESSIAH, MESSIAH –So You Sent Your Son album
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