“Sun coming up just across the road,
Dew is still fresh on the ground.”
It’s truly amazing.
I don’t use an alarm and yet nearly every day I wake up, roll over, look at the clock, and…
I kid you not. It happened again today.
It never seems to matter when I fall asleep the evening before, it’s the same – 7:10 a.m.
Nearly every morning.
I think it’s the light outside.
Over the years I’ve really loved seeing the bedroom curtains, shades, or blinds start to glow with the early morning promise of a glorious day bursting forth!
My new place in Florida now has those white, heavy wood plantation shutters mounted on the inside of the door and window frames. When closed, the shutters are great at blocking sunlight. Very nice on those uber-swampy Florida summer days! When it cools, you simply lift the central rod and all the slats swing up at once, inviting the sunlight to flood into the room.
So, here’s my morning thing. At 7:10 a.m., my eyes snap open. (Yes, they do. I’ve always been a morning person. My mom would catch me watching the test pattern on the TV at 6:00 on Saturday mornings while waiting for the cartoons to start. Yeah, I get it. I’m that old. Shut up.)
I see dim light on the shutters, but I don’t know if it’s sunshine or that diffused cloudy day type of light. I rise and pad my way to the balcony door (the bedroom is on the 2nd story) and lift the plantation shutter slats on the upper panel. When the sunlight bounces off the balcony pillars and walls and lights the room, I exclaim inside, “Oh, the glory! Just Another Perfect Day In Paradise is a-comin’!”
I quickly move left to the window and repeat the ritual. YES! More sunlight paints the walls!
After prepping for the day, I fling wide the shutters to start my day. They’re mounted on the inside of the door and swing in to expose the full glass pane of the door and window. I can now clearly see the tops of the palm and oak trees, the surrounding ponds, and the landscape for blocks. Truthfully, it’s quite Edenesque.
But something is not complete. I know the reality of the world outside the doorway, but I’m living in the air-conditioned, controlled world of my room. I have to get outside to get the full effect!
I open the door and stride out onto the balcony to welcome the full splendor of the morning – fresh air, a light breeze, and birds singing, all bathed in a wash of ever-growing daylight.
“Praise the Lord,
All the nations,
And sing praise to Him.
All the people,
Again and again.”
That got me thinking.
The whole ritual describes my life with the Lord. Hopefully, it will speak to you, dear reader.
We’re all born disconnected from God, shut away from the source of life. The revelation of God is often described in scripture as “light” because any legit revelation of God, either through His word or His Holy Spirit, illuminates our minds and hearts to see more clearly and vividly who He is and what He’s doing.
Though we’re born shut away inside ourselves and isolated from the source of light, the revelation of God still shines out from His creation onto us and illuminates the world around us.
God’s light, His revelation, is all around us. “The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1). Romans 1:19-20 says that the evidence for God’s existence is unavoidable, “because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world…”.
Sleeping humanity lives a murky existence not for lack of God’s light, but for lack of the ability to see God’s light.
This is the glimpse of light behind the plantation shutter. It is God’s light dawning upon us that invites us to awaken from the slumber of sin. It is the prompting of the Holy Spirit to stirs us awake and ready ourselves as He opens the shutters for us to see the risen Son. The light is to help us see the Living Jesus and be raised up into the promise of a New Day!
“There's the Father
Looking out across the sky
Says, "What a fine, fine land
I think I'll send my Son down to meet the crowd
He'll help them understand…”
Jesus is His Father’s “light.” He was sent to help us understand, comprehend, our Heavenly Father. The clearest revelation of God we can know because He is God in human form. What would God look like and act like if He were one of us? Jesus. “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).
And so, the born-again person with newly opened eyes begins a new life, lit by the Light of the World. This is the opening of the shutters where light begins to stream in.
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; though not seeing him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9). Though we do not see Jesus, we walk in His light, the revelation of Who He is, God with us and within us, brought to light in our souls through His Word and His Spirit.
As God’s light streams into our minds and hearts, so begins the process of discipleship, learning as much as we can about Jesus; living, talking, loving, and serving like Him. As we consume more and more of God’s word, and spend time listening and talking to Him, the light grows within us and shines forth through us, bringing glory to our Father (Matthew 5:16).
“The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until midday” (Proverbs 4:18). In other words, the light streaming through the unshuttered glass of our lives is to grow brighter until it reaches its fullness, which is Jesus’ image in us.
But there is something that remains between us and the full sunlight of God’s glory, just like the glass door between my bedroom and the balcony. I can see the “outside world,” but I’m still “standing in my room.” I see, but not fully. The door must be opened and the final step taken.
“But as it is written, what no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human heart has conceived— God has prepared these things for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
In this life, we still live “behind the door.” Yes, it has a glass panel through which we can see “the outside world,” but we were born to live “out there” in the richness of God’s brilliant presence, not forever confined to the limitations of a “well-lit” room.
There is more that Jesus wants for us than just being with us “in our rooms” enjoying His presence. He wants us to be with Him and to see Him as He is.
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they will see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the world’s foundation” (John 17:24)
Someday, the “glass-paned door” separating this world and the fullness of God’s presence will swing wide and we’ll step out onto the balcony of eternity. We’ll survey with our completely open eyes incomprehensible vistas, horizons stretching out to infinity. We’ll finally see everything in the light of God’s glory and love.
“See what great love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children—and we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know him. Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when he appears, we will be like him because we will see him as he is” (1 John 3:1-2).
This is the moment we step out onto the balcony!
And we shall see Jesus as He is.
“Sun going down just across the road
Dusk is well on its way
Wait for the morning to break from the night
Oh, hear the children say, hear them say,”
On the day of our death, we’ll step out onto the balcony and into the totality of God’s revelation, the light of His glory un-shuttered, undimmed, as bright as the noonday sun and the sun will never set on this “forever day.”
But, according to the Bible, some of us won’t see the day of our death. Rather, the “forever day” will dawn with Jesus’ return.
Just before His crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples, “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:27). When God prophesies something, you know it will happen. Therefore, “We also have the prophetic word strongly confirmed, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts (2 Peter 1:19)
You don’t have to wait to see Jesus. If you don’t know Him, look for the light on the shutters of your heart and ask the Holy Spirit to open the slats to let in more of God’s light. If you do know Jesus, ask the Holy Spirit to open the shutter doors as wide as possible and begin absorbing as much light from God’s Word as you can.
And be prepared every day, to step through the door of this present darkness (Ephesians 6:12) onto the balcony and into the brilliance of God’s glory, because you were made to live there!
“Praise the Lord, all the nations
And sing praise to Him
All the people
Again and again!” (Mylon Lefevre, Again and Again)
Think about these things while you listen to Mylon’s song (Mylon Lefevre, Again and Again)
Pastor Jay Christianson
The Truth Barista, Frothy Thoughts