Isaiah 60:1-2 – Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. (RSV)
The last four years have been a time of great transition for me. I had two major surgeries, my dad died, my oldest daughter had a crisis in her marriage and a divorce, then she came home pregnant from an acquaintance. We had a wedding and a fire; I had my third major surgery; Anna, our granddaughter, was born; then our son-in-law tried to kill everyone. We spent a year in and out of courts fighting over visitation rights for Anna. Then our son-in-law hanged himself. I was the pastor of a small congregation in central Iowa, and a few of my congregation felt I had too many problems, so they pressured me to leave. So, our family became homeless, and our main income was cut off. I was devastated by all of the loss. I was in the dark.
Then I began to ask God how all of these trials could bring glory to God's name. The light shone in my heart. New doors of opportunity for ministry opened up for me. Our family made a good move. We experienced healing with Anna's other grandparents and extended family. God raised me up on eagle's wings and gave me life and life abundant when I began to witness to God's strength and light in the midst of my darkness and weakness. God's word to Isaiah reminded me that God always has the first and the last word in life, no matter how great our strife.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for your light that shines in the darkness of our lives, and in this world. Shine into all our hearts, and we will arise and shine and give you glory today. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.