Monday, February 9, 2015

Glowing in the Dark

submitted by Kerry Patton
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD.”
Exodus 34:29
A toy yo-yo from a 1970's box of Kellogg's breakfast cereal

Toys on the Refrigerator
As a young boy, periodically our family would make the trip from where we lived in West Texas to the Abilene area to visit my father’s parents: J.C. and Bessie Patton in Sweetwater, Texas.  One of the most exciting attractions in visiting my father’s parents was that there were always toys on top of the refrigerator in their home.  My grandfather enjoyed breakfast cereal on many mornings of the week, and his favorite brand usually included a toy prize in the box.  These toy prizes he would place on the top of the refrigerator for his grandkids when they would visit. 
My favorite of these cereal box toys was a glow in the dark yo-yo.  Such a simple toy, but I spent many hours of the summers of my youth playing with them. An important part of the playing process though was that you needed to periodically hold the yo-yo up to a brightly lit light bulb and ‘recharge’ the toy so it would glow properly.  The toy, you see, could not manufacture any light of its own, but was only able to retain for a while light that it absorbed from other sources. 
Moses…You are glowing!
In Exodus chapter 34, we find the account of Moses on Mount Sinai.  By verse 29, we observe Moses, who has been in the presence of the Lord God on the mountain, coming down to deliver the tablets containing the 10 Commandments to the Children of Israel.  What he doesn’t realize as he enters the camp is that his face is radiating!  Now, we don’t know exactly what form this radiating manifested, but it was noticeable to the inhabitants of the camp.  From having been in the presence of God, the countenance of Moses apparently absorbed some of the Shekinah…the Glory of God’s presence. Learning of this radiance, Moses took to the habit of wearing a veil during those periods when he was away from the physical presence of God on the mountain.
In 2nd Corinthians 3:13 the Apostle Paul suggests that one of the reasons Moses wore a veil over his face after leaving the presence of God on the mountain was so that Israel wouldn’t see the radiance as it faded from his face.  I have to confess that on some level, I can relate to a faded glory.  I’ve seen the faces of brothers and sisters in the Lord…those persons who spend considerable time in prayer and worship…fellowshipping in the presence of the Lord.  Their intimacy with God is obvious, and I would suggest that the radiance of His presence is apparent in their faces. 
I would also confess that I am aware of others (myself included, from time to time) who seem to have no radiance at all!  Yes, they are believers in Jesus, and members of the body of Christ…but their countenance is hardened, their attitude is not one of blessing, but criticism, or spiritual fatigue.  I suggest that it may have been a while since they spent any significant time being recharged…if you will, in the transforming presence of Almighty God.  It might be accurately said of such individuals that their glory has faded. 
My prescription for such persons (myself included when I am in such a state) is that we desperately need to spend time in the presence of God. (Note here that I didn’t say they need to spend time in church, but in the presence of God.  It is entirely possible to attend church and never experience God’s presence…not because God isn’t there, but because we are not pursuing, or are not tuning into his presence!  Likewise, we can experience the presence of God sitting in our cars or in our living rooms. It’s all about WORSHIP…focusing on and loving on the Lord God.  And we are encouraged to do that wherever we are.)
Be Like the Moon
Genesis 1:16 tells of how God made “two great lights – the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night.” Only recently, Laura and I were in the driveway putting the trash to the curb.  Our daughter Sydney joined us and we paused a moment to look at the night sky.  Making humor, Sydney pointed at the moon and said: “Look at THAT big star Daddy!”  We got a good chuckle from it.  I then remarked to her that though the moon shined a bit like the stars, it was very different in that it has no light of its own.  It only reflects the light of the sun. 
The very same is true of you and me.  We have no light of our own.  Our light comes from the Son of God.  We are instructed to let that light shine!!  In Matthew 5:16, Jesus speaks: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  So, in a very real sense we are like the moon, we have no light within us except our Lord and Savior.  So we are encouraged to get closer to the Light. Amen?  There, in fellowship with our God, his Holy Spirit recharges us and our glow, if you will, is renewed...enabling us to…Glow in the Dark, even through the ups and downs.  Huh.  A lot like my old yo-yo.  So, go glow!

Almighty God, I am on a trek to know you better.  Like David wrote in the Psalms, I too long to be in your presence.  Renew me, Loving Father, and let my light shine so that others may see you in all I do.  In Jesus’ holy name I pray, Amen.

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