Recently I’ve been waking up several times during the night with leg cramps. Some nights are better than others, but most nights I’m up an average of 3-4 times. So by the time I wake up at 5:30am with my fourth or fifth leg cramp of the night I’m wide awake. I seriously can’t go back to sleep!! The first couple of nights it was rather frustrating and I was visibly annoyed. Then, I realized my prayer just days before. “Lord, I need more of You in my life. I need time to read your Word and meditate on it. I want my children to learn from my example that your Word is vital to their lives.” Was this His way of giving me the time I desired with Him?
The next day when I once again found myself awake at 5:30am, I got out bed instead of lying there hoping I could fall back asleep. I got ready for the day and headed downstairs – in the quiet. I made myself an omelette for breakfast (it’s my go-to grain-free breakfast) and sat down at my desk with my Bible and a notebook for notes. I’m a note-taker extraordinnaire. I take notes for everything!! I settled in and decided to follow a reading plan that would lead me through several books of the Bible as well as reading the Proverb that corresponds with the day of the month.
That was August 1st. Since then, I have continued getting up around 5:30am (sometimes earlier) and I have really come to enjoy that quiet, solitude in the morning. Just me and the Lord. I don’t turn on the computer or any other electronic device until I’ve done my reading and spent time with Him.
As I began reading that first morning, these words spoke to me in a way they never had before.
The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. ~ John 1:9-13
I had read this passage many times before and probably heard a sermon or two on it in my lifetime. I understood it just fine, but I’m not sure I fully comprehended what it was saying. The true light is Jesus – I got that. But what I had failed to grasp was that Jesus was not recognized. Not because he wasn’t known, he was. In fact, it’s likely that most people in Nazareth knew his face and name. They would have known him as Jesus, Mary and Joseph’s son. He was not recognized as the Savior, Creator, Son of God!!!
Sometimes I find that hard to believe. I would like believe that I would’ve been the exception. That I would have known who he was immediately. That I would have dropped everything and followed him with complete abandon. But the truth is…I’m not sure I would have been that person. Truth is…it’s hard to leave everything behind and follow Him.
John calls Jesus the light of the world that shines in the darkness. As a person with night blindness, the darkness is a scary place to be. It is disorienting and very unnerving for me. I don’t like sleeping in total darkness, nor do I like being far from a light source should I need to get up in the middle of the night. That is how we are to live our lives. By remaining close to the light source – Jesus.
If I am in the light – and I mean fully consumed by the light – the world will not recognize me. But, what does John mean “the world did not recognize him”? Recognition requires understanding and acknowledgement. If everything I do is understood and acknowledged to make sense in the world, then chances are I’m not acting in the light. When the world begins to understand what I’m doing, I need to take a step back and re-evaluate my actions. If the world did not receive the Son while he was here on earth, why should I expect them to receive me? I shouldn’t. If I am acting in the light and living a life fully consumed with Jesus, the world will not want to be around me.
So that is my new motto or mantra if you will. I don’t want to be recognized. Do you?
How has the Lord stretched you in your walk this week?
Have a blessed day,