Having grown up in Sunny Southern California, I am always captivated by the miraculous transformation of the landscape when snow falls. The first “real” snow in our area was a “powdered sugar” kind of snow that demanded no fanfare but caught your breath with its quiet beauty. What was fascinating about that particular snow was how it seemed to light up the darkness as it fell. When my daughter commented the next day that she had to close the blinds in her bedroom to sleep because it was so bright, I knew exactly what she meant.
In a sense, the light of Christ transforms the landscape of the human heart, cleansing and filling the broken places with His peace. No matter how dark life may appear, when we draw near to Christ in faith, the darkness is dispelled as the light of hope blankets and warms the soul. Are you looking to lighten those dark areas in your life . . . perhaps to unhinge the icy fingers of bitterness or regret?
This week I was reminded of one of the best means of transforming the landscape of the heart as I worked with a young woman I have come to enjoy and respect. Journey Notes Praise Journaling is a wonderful means of entering into the ongoing, personal soul-work we all need to stay fresh in our faith. The young woman’s story is one of tragedy–raped at age 12, in and out of psychiatric hospitals after attempting suicide several times– until recently she lived a life sold out to drugs, rehab and more drugs. Today, she marvels that she is still alive and is intent on getting to know God better. We meet weekly, but the major work being done in her heart and mind is the conversation cultivated between her and her Lord as she does her Journey Notes. In our last Session, I asked her if she wanted to share anything from her Journey Notes? Her response immediately got my attention: “My voice has changed.” I responded with a puzzled look and waited for an explanation. She went on to say, “My Praises and Responses to what God says to me have changed.” When she read some of her most recent entries I understood what she was saying; there was a new depth and passion expressed in her writing that wasn’t there before. Ah yes, I have seen it before– the light of His Presence had filled and warmed her soul, dispelling darkness and giving hope.
What the Bible says is true, to contemplate the Lord’s glory is to be transformed . . .“I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.” John 12:46
Are you in a dark place right now or is there someone you want to encourage? Maybe you are absolutely fine, but are looking for a fun way to add joy to your journey? Then I strongly encourage you to consider giving Journey Notes Praise Journaling a try. You can do it on your own or you might ask a friend to do it also; committing to meet weekly or bi-weekly to share what God has shown you. Truly a wonderful means of entering His light to warm your soul.
All to His Glory!