Brilliant Light of God
After a morning run, I rested near our garden pond and listened to the sounds of water cascading over rocks into water. Glancing back toward the house, I caught an interesting reflection in the large bay windows. I look at the reflection of a large stand of trees. As the breeze blew the branches around, I could catch small glimpses of sunlight breaking through the leaves. What amazed me was how blindingly bright these pinpricks of light were. So bright, that I couldn’t look at them for more than a second.
Two things occured to me in that moment. First, our minds can only partially comprehend even the smallest portion of God’s glory. When we do see it, it’s often blinding and we cannot keep our gaze upon it. Second, even a reflection of His glory can have an enormous impact.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
Regarding the first point, I think of John. He knew Jesus. He walked, ate, served, and prayed with him for three years. Yet in Revelation, when John saw Jesus in His glory, what was his response? He fell on his face, overwhelmed with the glory of God in Jesus. Even a guy classified as one of Jesus’ tight friends could only comprehend so much. And what He saw blew him away. I also think of Saul who became Paul. His encounter with the risen Jesus left him blinded. And the transformation in his life was obvious – from persecutor to follower.
Dare to Follow God
In thinking about the second point, I believe our lives can be so transformed by our relationship with the living God, that we become a blinding reflection of His character, love, goodness and power. Are we daily stepping outside our comfort zone because of what He has done for us? Or are we stuck in the quagmire of mediocrity – drowning in our own covetous nature, focusing on the things of this world, living a “safe” little life? Are we taking risks for His glory and fulfilling the purposes He has planned for us while we’re on this little rock?
And in our marriages, are we a reflect of God’s goodness? Do we have the courage to follow God’s Word, completely, wholly, forever? Or do we decide to “give this Respect Dare thing a try,” only to give up when it becomes difficult? Or give up when it’s still challenging three weeks, months or years later?
Honestly, it took nearly seven years before I was able to look back and see the difference that God made through the application of respect in our marriage. The transformation? Going from being good friends to deeply intimate confidantes who are permanently and irrevocably committed to each other.
Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Psalm 33: 20-22
Bottom Line: The race is long. Run it well, knowing it isn’t over until the day of your last breath this side of heaven.
Glad you are on the journey with us. Starting Monday, we will begin a weekly walk through The Respect Dare. Grab your copy of the book, your coffee and snuggle up with us. Respond to the questions in the book, then come here every Monday for additional thoughts and dialogue. Hope you’ll subscribe to the blog and stick it out, remembering that perseverance grows mature faith. Several years ago, I was featured on a 3-part series with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine of FamilyLife Today, you might listen to those here – they’re a great foundation and motivation.
One NEW resource for you to use as we walk through the Respect Dare is the novel, “Dare to Respect.” Tammy Oberg De La Garza wrote this book after her own life-changing journey through The Respect Dare. She felt called by God to use her passion for storytelling to accompany wives either before, during or after they’ve done the dares. Some of our small group leaders have used Tammy’s novel while going through each dare and have reported profound growth.
Dare you to ask God to reveal to you and confirm His purpose for your life.
Double-dog-dare you to follow it.
Check out the 40 Dares for parents to employ with Tweens and Teens: