I would characterize the last three weeks of summer by Harry Potter, friends, and birthdays.
My son has me reading Harry Potter. I am in the middle of the fourth book. I have always resisted this series because of what I thought would be dark themes, but in reality, I am liking it and can see why children enjoy the plot. It keeps reminding me of bigger themes, of true realities, that there really is a battle with a kingdom of darkness, that there is a Kingdom to come, that the greatest stories we can imagine would only be a hint of such a great story, that ideas and thoughts like those found in this fiction show how we are made in God’s image with the ability to think and create, but also that we are all naturally aware of the battle of good and evil at some level.
This morning I was thinking about a broken relationship where God has brought healing. The healing came not in perfect form, but it still came, and there is such a freedom when something is released, even if the best human way of doing it can’t be perfect. There has been forgiveness given and forgiveness received, and the rest can be left in God’s hands, and we can trust Him. And I love it that there can be peace, perhaps imperfect in this life, but still a peace that was worth seeking over leaving things undone and broken. I suspect there are many people who are content to live with brokenness, and I realize sometimes circumstances just require that extreme separation, but I would imagine in many cases, some form of reconciliation could be found, even while boundaries may need to be built.
Anyway, immediately while I was thinking of this, the picture in Harry Potter of Dobby and the dirty sock came to mind. He had brokenness with his “master” and the only way he could be free would be through being given clothes. Ideally, wouldn’t receiving beautiful clothes and being sent away from his master in a loving way be wonderful? And yet, Dobby was released by being given a dirty sock by accident. Yet his freedom still came. Whether it’s beautiful clothes or a dirty sock, the end result was the same, and the fact that in his case, it was a dirty sock showed how necessary the separation and freedom actually was!
So it struck me how books can paint pictures that portray a larger idea so beautifully, even if imperfectly. And I’ve enjoyed connecting with my kids and their friends through this series, too!
The rest of these weeks of summer have been spent in town, taking my son to football camp and workouts, being with friends (we know two families who now live overseas, but who have been in town), and then this last week, celebrating birthdays!!
My daughter’s birthday is always special as we remember what God did for her through her birth. I never tire of remembering it, because God has done great things for us, and I want to praise Him! My birthday follows hers by four days, so we celebrate a lot during this week of summer!
I did not plan to come up with a theme on my birthday for this next year, but God gave me something quite clear: Walk in the Light.
I was reading in my daily reading from Micah chapter 4-7, and I had underlined and thought about first the word “walk” in Micah 4:2 and 5: “He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” and “we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.”
Then second, these words from Micah 7:8-9 about light: “Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light…. He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness.”
I love the thought of God teaching me his ways that I may walk in his paths and that He is Light and He will bring me out into light.
Then I opened some gifts that some friends had given me the night before at Bible study, and my friend wrote in her card about me shining light out of darkness.
Later at work, I was looking up some verses and ran across something else in Ephesians 5:
8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
Then lastly, I was looking for my Scripture memory cards from earlier this year, and when I found them, I realized that the last verse I had listed to memorize in February was from Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a <sup class=”footnote” value=”[f]”>hill cannot be hidden;“
There was also a song on my heart all day that we sing at church called “I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light.”
So as the day went on, I realized I had a theme, not one I went looking for, but one God brought me: Walk in the Light. As I’ve battled complacency and dealing with sin that keeps tripping me up, I was encouraged that He will teach me the way to go. He will light my path. I keep my eyes on Him and walk in the Light, and He will free me from habitual sin and easy entanglements.
There are some sins in life where I feel God gave me supernatural, immediate freedom (though I still have to deal with it, but not at the same level or intensity that once was), and other things that seem more minor (yet sin is never really minor!) and easy to live with or justify or just think I’ll always have to live with. Those are the ones I feel like God is telling me that is not the case. He is powerful enough to overcome these, too, but He is wanting me to seek Him about them, to walk in the Light, to let Him do the work by His power and strength, but to be willing to let Him and to do the work He is asking of me. He can break these familiar and long lasting strongholds that seem impossible to be free of.
Do you know what I mean? Do you walk around with things that you’ve just accepted as part of life and not really allowed Him to deal with? I need to allow Him to retrain me, to help me rethink, to revive me so that I walk more fully in Him and His light!
I know it might be hard, but I want to be willing to surrender to Him. So “I want to walk as a child of the Light, I want to follow Jesus.”
Two weeks of summer to go until school starts and my regular work routine begins again! I have loved capturing the summer by weeks this year. It has been the best summer I can remember having in many, many years! Thank you, Lord!