For quite some time now I have grappled with the idea that grace and discipline can coexist. Like Paul, I have become frustrated with myself, my flesh, over and over again. My spirit is offered grace, but my flesh needs discipline. It has been so hard for me to understand.
And there there was an epiphany…
When my insides feel troubled, my heart and soul need healing.
This year, on the way to our vacation spot, I had a realization…
We are to be reflectors.
Driving on a mountain highway, one of our children asked, “What are the shining lights on the road?”
“They are reflectors,” I said, “Ah ha!”
I had been seeking a metaphor for what I was feeling – If I am intended to shine brightly, why do I feel so dark?
Comparatively speaking, my “dark” is likely brighter than some others. The toils and troubles of my life currently pale in comparison to those in other battles. Yet the strength of our faith stands up in real battles, tough battles, insurmountable battles. We rely on God like no other time – but what about the little foxes?
I realized then and I am articulating now that I had let the little foxes creep in and steal from me. Stolen joy. Stolen peace. Stolen hope. The essence of light, stolen.
So my ah-ha moment when Emmy asked the question had nothing to do with me and everything to do with God. For with Him, I am strong. Without Him, I am nothing. Without light shining from headlights, the reflectors cannot, will not, do their one job – shine!
So this life is all about that. Growing as close as we can to God so that we can do our jobs.
What is that?
Before we can love others, we are to love God, but more now than ever, I believe that if there is ever a problem with our love for others, it is really a problem with our love for God. He made us to reflect His love. We have to receive it to reflect it.
And just the other morning, I saw two young foxes scurrying across the main street of our town, and I thought, “Beware of the little foxes.” If you don’t know the reference, I’ll share it with you before you go. And you can ponder the little foxes of your own life. They were so, so cute, but I am sure they could do some damage.
“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”
Song of Solomon 2:15 NIV