I sit slouched in my ergonomic chair at the office and squint at my computer monitor, searching for and scrolling through the job openings. My current gig is up. Our company did not make it; and I knew when I accepted the position that it would be a tossup. Unfortunately, it's time to find a new job. Where could I possibly land? Freelancing sounds good. No sick days, no vacation days, be your own boss to a certain degree. But, no health insurance? No co pay assistance with my daily medications. The irony makes me giggle a little...
A year ago, I was worried... no. I was terrified, and struggling with sudden, worsening neurological symptoms. Numbness and phantom itches on my legs, vision issues; the doctor first diagnosed a pinched nerve. I knew it wasn't a pinched nerve. An MRI showed that several lesions on my brain and spine were causing the problems. Multiple Sclerosis. I was able to see an amazing specialist. Now, just a little over one year later, all MS symptoms are gone and have been managed well by diet, exercise and an oral medication.
Praise God!!! Those two words don't do it justice.
Yet, here I am: worried again, struggling. But this time, with job security.
Why do I doubt? Why do I worry? I hold this Book in my hands (or the digital version on my iPhone); and I am gripping tightly to the leather bound foundation of my every last drop of faith. Why do I think God is so small? Or rather, why do I forget God is SO BIG?
In John 8, Jesus Christ stood before the people in the flesh, speaking directly to them- probably making direct eye contact with many, and still, they doubted.
Why is it so hard for me to be reassured that I am loved and valued? As I do the math of how much of an unemployment check I will receive vs. how much money we have historically spent in a month, hopelessness takes hold of me. Darkness overcomes me.
Have you ever thought about what darkness meant to Jesus? My knee-jerk definition of darkness in life is: trials, confusion, stress, and hard, often painful days. Maybe that isn't what darkness is, in this passage. I think Jesus meant we never, ever have to fully know the same kind of dread and fear that existed before He came to earth. Because of Him, as we stumble through our trials and difficulties in life, if we so choose, we can always have the light of Jesus to illuminate our path.
And now, I'm starting my fourth week at my new job. My first duties of the day begin with turning on all of the lights in the office: the lamps on my desk and in the corner, the recessed lights above, and finally, the lights in my boss's office.
Before writing about John 8, it hadn't even crossed my mind. Maybe He is reminding me. At the beginning of each new day; something so mundane, and yet, I can almost hear the words straight from His mouth as I reach under the lampshade and feel with my fingertips for the switch in the dark.
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)
Angie Willis Culver Palms Church of Christ Los Angeles, CA