Father of Lights
Writing to encourage those who were enduring trials and suffering, James assures his audience that God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone. But we are tempted by our own evil desires, which give birth to sin and eventually to spiritual death. “Do not be deceived” is the warning; for the Father of Lights is full of nothing but – light. Jas. 1:13-16
The Father of Lights is the provider of every good and perfect gift. His is the light that will never be eclipsed; in Him there is no shadow of turning. Jas. 1:17-18 And though it’s very hard at times, we must learn how to trust when God makes a promise. It gets complicated; I understand. Being fatherless, broken promises, hardships, all tend to dull our hearts from having hopeful expectations.
Fragile & Fleeting
“God…made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Cor. 4:6-7 Earthen vessels are fragile; jars break easily. Our weakness, coupled with life’s brevity, serves as an aid to humility. “Lord, what are human beings that you care for them, mere mortals that you think of them? They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow.” Ps. 144:3-4
C.S. Lewis, in his Chronicles of Narnia series, describes our current dwelling place on earth as the “shadowlands.” We are clearly walking as pilgrims and sojourners, yet are also filled with an everlasting permanence in God. Lewis concludes his Narnia books with these final words, upon his cast of characters meeting their earthly death: All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.
All around us people are trying to find a deeper meaning in the transitory, while we seek to draw our inner resolve from that which is transcendent. When my current story-line ends, it’s a launch into an even greater future story, one that gets better and better. I love it when proportion is in my favor. In the meantime, I need to navigate today’s journey.
Contrasted with a train of gifts flowing from a loving father, is the experience of the orphan heart, places where the shoreline of a soul has yet to experience deep waves of love. Jesus said, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” Jn. 14:18 This was fulfilled in his post resurrection appearances and also when He received the promised Holy Spirit, and poured it out upon His disciples. Acts 2:33 Then and now, the Father of Lights continues to give, his good and perfect gifts.
One of the last promises in the New Testament assures us: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” Rev. 21:4-5
Thank God for the measure of transformation we’ve experienced; what a gift! But there’s more – good and perfect gifts, prepared by the Father of Lights, especially for you.
Photo by Allen Cai on Unsplash