Recently, at the end of a conversation with a client, they shared “Doesn’t anything ever bother you? I mean, I only seem to call you when there’s a problem, but you’re never upset or show the slightest sign of stress…” I laughed… not just a simple laugh, but a hardy, old-fashioned-style laugh! ME? Never get upset or show the slightest sign of stress?? Really??? If he ONLY knew…
I am exposing a piece of myself that I’ve learned about more recently… that when I am closer to God, I don’t react to life so emotionally, being affected by life struggles as when I’m further away from God. You see, I don’t want to be away from God… life just gets in the way, and little by little, I’m focusing on things other than God, pleasing Him, doing things that honor Him, and before you know it, I’m not quite as close to God as I want to be. It is in this place that I believe that Satan does his best work. The further away we are from God, the easier it is for us to ‘stand out’ to be attacked by the enemy. I am ashamed to say that when I’m tired and living with less margin in my life, that I start moving away from believing by faith that God is who He is and I start to demand proof… certainty… rather than remain in that child-like state of faith that Jesus referred to many times.
Several years ago, I found this picture I’ve shared here for this post… a lighthouse in le Four off the coast of France. I remember staring at it for long periods of time and never knew why; amazed at how firm the lighthouse stood on its foundation regardless of the impact of the waves, no matter how big they were. Then, one day, it hit me… this is the image that represents strength through struggles due to bad weather… always present, no matter the adversity thrown at it. And, it needs to be, as so many are depending on it for guidance! Like a “beacon” serves as a guide to something… in our case, the church serves as a beacon that helps guide people to Jesus Christ! Our foundation must lie on something solid… our faith in who God is and continues to be.
1 Peter 2 emphasizes stopping all bad behavior, not to cheat people, not to pretend that we are better than we are, not to be jealous, not to gossip, to seek ‘spiritual milk’ that helps us grow and become strong. Matthew 5:14-16 shares Jesus telling us “you are the light of the world”. A light that never goes out, much like a lighthouse. When it goes dim, it gets changed or recharged. When we get weak, God is there to strengthen us. Just as a lighthouse stands in the presence of adversity and its light acts a guiding beacon to those who are lost, so too are we, children of God… we are the light that draws others to Christ. Like the lighthouse, our lives are to be immovable even in the midst of storms, chaos, and challenges.
We do have our faith challenged, and, at times, we get scared when the storms of life come our way. Those are the times to lean on God, our foundation, for more strength to hold on and not let go…to remain immovable like a lighthouse.
We also need to remember, like the lighthouse, someone is always watching us. The lighthouse presence is enough to draw people and keep them from danger. We, too, are to remember others are watching our lives, our words, the company we keep in order to be drawn to the God in us and away from danger.
Following God is a challenging walk, but it can a walk full of peace, joy, love, and contentment… things the world cannot give us. Nor can things of the world provide the firm foundation capable of withstanding the ‘direct hits’ we encounter in life.
Remember, in the midst of the storm, we are children of God… the light…and like the lighthouse, you shall not be moved!!
Heavenly Father, like the lighthouses used to help guide those that are lost to safe waters, may Your Son, be our guiding light. And in so doing, we can be models for others to follow for how we should live our lives. Amen!
Greg Stefanelli (gstefanelli)