The Incredible Sunshine of God (1 John 1:5)

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light;  in him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5

Gunnera, azaleas
A Place of Ever-Changing Beauty, Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park, London

I’ve been a Christian for a long time. I could write essays about Christianity. I even have an ‘O’ level to prove it. When I’ve interacted with God, perhaps in finding a Bible verse through which God speaks, or I have been worshipping him, I can see afresh something lovely about God and his perspective.

Yet lately I am feeling surprised by how lovely God is. It’s like someone opened a window and the fresh air is stirring my awareness of a fragrance that was already in the room. I think I was so busy trying to understand, or strive to be good, that I wasn’t in in the mood to enjoy God much at all. I was trying to broadcast something, but I needed to just look up, or open a spiritual window, and turn my gaze on him, not me.

Even when he wants us to deal with the heavy stuff, he brings his companionship and joy into it. I don’t think I expected joy.  I know CS Lewis has something to say about that – he wrote a whole book called ‘Surprised by Joy’; but the truth is we each have to find it for ourselves.

I can’t give you a formula for getting to where I’m at, if you want to be there; and if you do, I hope you’ll overtake me very soon, because to be honest I’ve been in the slow but steady lane. All I can give you is the same directions he gave me: look up; follow him; keep seeking him; believe in the Father, believe also in Jesus; he will continue to reveal himself to you if you’re open to that.

He’s keeping his word. And the more I go on, the more I realise that experiences I thought would be heavy and religious, possibly proving me inadequate, has no part in what he actually is all about. What he seems to be about is full of life.


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