“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”  1 Peter 2:9

Over the last couple of months or so God has been speaking to my heart about living in the light, and I don’t think His word is only for me.  So throughout the year I’ll be sharing with you some things He’s shown me, and I’m sure will show me, about living in the light, about being a light and about sharing His light with those around you.

Because of certain circumstances throughout my life, I grew accustomed at a young age to rely on myself, and dealing with mounting difficult circumstances alone taught me to keep secrets.  By the time I was saved at 26, that way of living had become second nature.

It’s been 25 years since the day Christ shown His light into my heart and life, and yet more and more He’s showing me that my habit of running and hiding when life gets hard hasn’t included hiding from just people.  Without really realizing it, I was, to a degree, hiding from God too.  I was still in the mode of dealing with much of the pain and circumstances of life on my own.

But through His love and grace and mercy, He’s been coaxing me out from hiding and telling me “It’s okay.  I already know how you feel, I already know what you think, and I love you no matter what.  I don’t love you as others have.  I love you unconditionally, with an all-consuming  love, and nothing can take that away.”

The world tells us the opposite: that we have to earn love, and that pursuit can overflow into our relationship with Christ.  The enemy works hard to keep us working for love, although he never reveals to us that love can never be earned. In trying to earn it, he dangles love as a carrot that’s always just out of reach. And in trying to conceal God’s love, the enemy also tries to conceal His light.

The thing the enemy doesn’t want anyone to know is that unless we come into the light, allowing our sins to be exposed by talking to our Heavenly Father about our pain, our confusion, our brokenness, and letting Him deal with it all, there can be no healing. satan loves when we keep secrets, when we live in the shadows, because he knows that Christ’s light will offer us forgiveness and will bind up our wounds.  That He’ll use them grow us and give us a greater capacity for compassion toward others who are going through their own painful circumstances. satan doesn’t want us to know that our shame and guilt were nailed to the cross along with our sins when we received Christ as Lord and Savior.

But they were, and we are free.  We are free to come into the Light.

Some truths are finally moving the long journey from my mind to my heart.  As I’m growing in the Lord, I’m growing in His grace, and I’m finally starting to understand what those words mean.

And so, for the freedom to stand boldly with arms raised in the light and love of Jesus, I’m thankful.