Sorting through boxes. Going through files. Deciding the items to keep, sell, give away, or pitch. … Oh, the joys of moving; preparing for a yard sale; or just cleaning out the clutter. How (and why) do we acquire so much stuff?!
It never fails: when I jump into one of these projects, a box of memories always derails me from the immediate tasks and goals. Journals, photographs, keepsakes. Suddenly, time stops, the demands silence, and I become wrapped up in the moments of my past.
Some memories are recorded for all of history to see, and others are locked up in the confines of our own minds. Regardless of the “placement” of the memory—in a box, on film, a social media post, or in the mind—revisiting the events of our lives provides the opportunity to examine our choices, motives, successes, failures, our past, our future…our stories.
We would be remiss if we thought we were the only ones who knew our whole story. There is One who knows the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning. God Almighty, the Creator of the Universe, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, the stars and sea, every creature and flower, and the Creator of each one of us—He knows you and I perfectly! He knows the choices in our past, the thoughts in our heads, the motives of our hearts, the things we regret, the things for which we’re thankful, the pain we struggle with letting go, what causes us fear and anxiety, what brings us joy… He knows!
He is the author of all truth, and He reveals His truth to us: about Him, about ourselves, about His ways, and about ours. Paul wrote, as recorded in Ephesians 5:13-14 (NIV):
But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
There is nothing hidden from God. He sees the good, the bad, and the ugly in us. The beautiful thing is, He knew all of it before we even were—yet He still chose to create us, love us, and save us through the gift of His Son, our Savior, Jesus.
God, knowing we could be overwhelmed by darkness and become dead in our sins, exhorts us through Paul to wake up, rise up, and allow the Light of Jesus to shine upon us. Jesus is the Light of the world. In Him there is no darkness. His light dispels and overcomes all darkness. Jesus became sin for us so we could be made righteous.
As the Light of Christ shines upon us, we will see ourselves as we are. Totally exposed. Rolled out in waves of memories, God helps us unpack one box, and then another, and another… Like a roll of film that was never developed, the hidden things in the dark places within our souls that we push down and choose to ignore, come to Light. Gently, patiently, lovingly, God allows light to be shed upon each memory, moment, thought, and motive.
And then the miraculous happens. His glorious Light overcomes every dark spot within us. Our sin is washed away. Cleansed, renewed, restored by His blood, we become new creations who have been illuminated by His Light, and now become a Light for Him.
God doesn’t expose our intimate truths to everyone. It is a personal, private, and sacred journey for each one of us with our loving Father, faithful Savior, and tender Comforter. The Holy One leads us in all truth so we can enter in to a right relationship with Him and then shine for Him in this world.
Do you need help unpacking a few boxes? Are there some film strips yet to be developed? What in your life needs to be brought to Light? Don’t be afraid of total exposure with your Father. He already knows. And His tender mercies are new for you today. Invite Him to help you sort through your “stuff.” Christ will shine upon you. And you will be a Light for Him.
Holding Fast to Hope,