W.O.W. – Warm, Omnipresent Wonder

I want to start off by saying that whatever I write during this post is not planned, outlined, or real thought out. It will come completely from the title of this blog – within the heart. Some things that friends and family have shared with me today has got me thinking. Now if anyone knows me, they would know me to be more of a thinker than a talker. I definitely feel more comfortable sharing my thoughts on paper than I do to someone’s face. I love the concept of “thinking before you speak”. Now, there have been plenty of times that I haven’t thought before I spoke, and truly regretted it. Hasn’t that happened to us all? 😉 But when I am able to truly ponder on things, ideas, and perspectives, the Holy Spirt reveals things to me in ways that leaves me saying WOW. It leaves me in a state of Warm, Omnipresent Wonder.

Picture yourself inside your warm house on a cold, blustery, winter day. It is overcast, with a wind chill in the negatives. The trees are bare, the grass is dull, and there is no sign of life. You feel depressed just looking out the window. All of the sudden a bright, blue-colored bird comes flying out of the forest, scrounging around looking for food. Then you see a couple of squirrels scurrying up the lifeless trees, before they disappear into their burrow, deep into a hole in the trunk of a maple. Next you see two deer casually walking in the forest, making crackling sounds within the fallen leaves and twigs, and using their senses to check their surroundings. You then think to yourself, “Wow, though it may seem like the forest is completely lifeless and dull, it is actually full of life.” Then you may ponder the question, “How do these animals survive through such harsh weather? Even the fragile, delicate birds survive.”

It truly is amazing, if you think about it, how these animals survive through harsh, cold weather. Many will store up food for hibernation, and some will scrounge around during the night for their food. They already have the knowledge of how to prepare their lives for the worst. So how can we apply this to our lives? Well, let me answer this question with another question. How do we survive when the frozen world enters our life spiritually? When all seems dead and non-existent, when the world around us seems dull and shallow, when your heart feels stone cold and you don’t know how to thaw it … what do we do? Do we choose to just look at it through the window of a “dead, lifeless forest”, or do we look more closely through the window to see the life that dwells within the dark, gloomy, seemingly dead forest. Let me submit to you that God is in EVERYTHING. He IS everything. He dwells in the winter, He dwells in the summer. Wherever you are at right now, He is there. Look at the bigger picture, and not what is right in front of you and what you can see. Sometimes too often we look through the glasses that we created rather than through the glasses that He created for us to look through. He wants us to find Him in every little thing, because He is always there! Whatever walk you are on right now, whether it be dead branches all around or blooming flowers … He is right there with you every step of the way, guiding you (if you let Him), and showing you what to do. In order to overcome the perspective of a frozen, dull world, you have to look at it from His perspective so as to get the big picture. Then you will become full of warm, omnipresent wonder. It will leave you saying, “WOW, God.” Because He is truly a WOW kind of God. 😉

Light Shine Bright

I have been doing a little research on the Hebrew word for light, which is or. This word is made up of three Hebrew letters: aleph, vav, and Resh. (Side note: if you are not familiar with the Hebrew alphabet or words, bear with me and hang in there as we uncover some deep stuff!) The letter aleph represents strength, the letter vav represents a peg or nail, and the letter Resh represents the beginning or head of something. If you put these three letter representations together you get: the strength of the nail (Yeshua, Jesus) as the head (or authority) over light. This is my interpretation of this word. Ultimately Jesus is the light of the world: “Then Jesus spoke to them again: ‘I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12 HCSB I just think it is cool how the Hebrew connects to Yeshua himself as being the light of the world. Sure, we already knew that, but making such connections can be so enlightening. I know it is for me, at least.

So if Yeshua is the light and we are to be like Him, how can we truly make that light shine bright? This may seem like an easy question… but let me tell you. It’s not as easy to shine that light as it may sound. I picture the sunshine. When the sun is shining, it illuminates all the vibrant colors, architectural shapes, blooming plants, and gurgling water. We can go about our day without trouble of sight, because the sun promises to come up each morning day. However, when the sun is not shining, the illumination disappears into the shadows. The colors appear dull and the plants go into hiding for the night. Your senses recognize the difficulty it would be to walk outdoors during the night, in fear of the unknown that you may not be able to see. In a sense, it boils down to the light versus the darkness. When you possess the light of God, there is no room for darkness to make itself known. The light overwhelms the darkness, causing it to flee.

If you have the Word of God in your heart, share it with those around you. It doesn’t always have to be a “teaching” or “sermon”. It could be as simple as “God bless you”, or “Did you know that you are loved more than anyone in this universe by Yahweh, whom created you?”. If you have been gifted with worship, share that gift in humility and obedience to spread the light inside you that was given to you in the first place. Recently someone told me that they were thinking about going back to church (without knowing that I believe in God). I used this opportunity to encourage them to do so, because I knew that was God tugging on her heart, without her even knowing. Now I never knew if she went back to church, but I still used God’s light to encourage her to do what she felt she needed to do in that time of her life.

I think that it is important to always shine the light that is inside of us, even in the moments when we don’t feel like it. There are many times when the enemy tries to overtake the light. It is important to recognize when that happens (it can come in different ways) and overcompensate that darkness with more of God’s light. The way that I do it, is speak the promises of God over myself when I’m feeling down or discouraged by the enemy. Speaking out loud the promises of God is a powerful thing. The Word of God is a powerful weapon that is important for us to use against the enemy. Here’s the bottom line! Find the different ways to let your light shine bright so that there is absolutely no room for the enemy! Shine it up high on a hill for all to see. Not to boast in yourself, but to humbly share what you’ve been given so that all whom you encounter will be blessed and encouraged through the knowledge of the Lord!