Sunday, February 5, 2023

The Warmth of the SON

One thing is certain, Arkansas winters have a way of getting my attention. The past two weeks brought an abundance of white stuff - snow, ice and all the things. With it came the burst of freezing temps and lack of sunshine. Don't get me wrong, I do love a good snow day-wrapped up in a cozy blanket, a good book and coffee in hand, and time to just stay home. When a good snow day turns into snow weeks, my body craves some warm sunshine! It is no secret- sunshine is a natural source of goodness. God created it that way. There are a multitude of health benefits connected to time spent soaking up the sun. 

Today is the first warm, sunny day we have had in a while. After morning worship, I decided to go outside and just sit in the sun. I found myself literally closing my eyes and turning my face upward-just to let the glow of the sun completely envelop my face. Oh, it felt so good. I sat there for several minutes, just literally letting my skin soak it in. 

In that moment, I couldn't help but think about the comparison of health benefits connected to the SUN and spiritual benefits connected to time spent soaking up the SON. Just this week, I found myself having a conversation with a friend going through a dark time. We talked about how important it is to try to spend some time outdoors during the winter months. Winter seems to be the time depression rises to startling heights. Then, our conversation shifted to the importance of time spent with Jesus- the eternal source of light in our lives. 

You see, God designed our bodies to crave physical sunshine and our souls to crave the warmth of His Son. There is no artificial light that compares. Man-made light just doesn't have the same effect. In the same way, there is no substitute for time spent with Jesus. When we turn our gaze to Him, everything else pales in comparison. When we really take time to read His Word, speak to Him in prayer and focus on His strength and love, we cannot help but feel His presence warming and lighting our entire being. Even on the cloudy days, His light is readily available. Literally looking up to the ceiling and imagining Him pouring over us soothes our anxious hearts and brings emotional healing to us in the deepest places. 

Just as time spent in the sun leaves a glow to our skin, time spent in the light of the SON brings a radiance to us. Scripture tells us, we will radiate the light of Christ when we spend time in His presence. There is a light and glow to us from the inside out that no day on the beach or time spent in a tanning salon will begin to compare. There is a spiritual light that shines from within. 

How do we get and maintain this glow? It takes effort and determination. Make an intentional decision to spend time in the presence of the SON every day. 

How much does this glow cost? The only thing it costs is time.

You will not find an ad popping up on your phone for this glow. It is not another sales gimmick. There is no substitute or quick fix solution. However, there is an eternal promise connected to making the decision to live life everyday in His presence. The most beautiful people I have ever known, those who truly would light up a room, shared this secret many years ago. No matter where you find yourself today, take a moment to spend time with the SON, and if you can get outside, by all means do!

I think the words of one of my favorite hymns says it best:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus. 

Look full in His wonderful face. 

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim.

in the light of His glory and grace.