Sometimes when reading scripture, I lose the meaning of what these words mean.
The Bible uses all these abstract yet common words that we’re all expected to know what they mean. But the more I read them, the less they seem to actually mean something real to me.
Love. Light. Truth. Life.
This month I’ve been studying 1 John. John LOVES to use these abstract phrases.
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.” – 1 John 1:1
“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” – John 1:4
“For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.” – John 5:26
When thinking about the word “life” in the religious context, I often just think of eternal life. But the devotional I read today asked me to think about life by thinking about the opposite. Instead of death, it asked, what is lifeless in your life right now?
It helped me to see that Jesus’ gift of life is not simply limited to a heartbeat and heaven, he’s the giver of a life that is truly alive.
As we trudge through these last long days of winter, it’s easy to feel lifeless, apathetic, empty. That’s probably why spring always feels so beautiful.
The other seasons have so much more going for them. Summer is full of vacations, sunshine, and freedom. Fall is full of new beginnings, pumpkins, and cozy bonfires on brisk nights. Even winter boasts Christmas, magical snowflakes, and hygge.
When you think about it, spring is really just a muddy, chilly, waiting room for summer.
Even so, when I think of spring, it brings a smile to my face and lightness to my heart unlike any of the other seasons.
Because only spring brings the feeling of hope.
And I can think of nothing more contrary to lifelessness than hope.
“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day He created spring.” – Bernard Williams
Each month I try to record the little glimpses of joy infused in my life. Here are my glimpses from January:
A wild heart can also straddle the tension of staying awake to the struggle in the world and fighting for justice and peace, while also cultivating its own moments of joy. I know a lot of people, myself included, who feel guilt and even shame about their own moments of joy. How can I play on this gorgeous beach with my family while there are people who have no home or safety? Why am I working so hard to decorate my son’s birthday cupcakes like cute little Despicable Me minions when there are so many Syrian children starving to death? What difference do these stupid cupcakes really make? They matter because joy matters.” ~Brene Brown
- A quiet evening enjoying all my Christmas gifts.
- Driving home through my beautiful snow-covered neighborhood.
- My phone shut down (which would normally derail my day) but instead was a catalyst to find and choose joy.
- The Vikings’ miraculous win!
- Be outside and perfectly still and present on a dark, snowy night, watching the snowflakes fall in the light of the city lamps.
- Spontaneously making a snow angel – because I was finally in the moment enough to enjoy the joy of the present.
- Aaron running away from me and hiding behind corners to hide the fact that he was eating a cookie I couldn’t eat on Whole30.
- Sitting in my warm, cozy house watching the snow heavily fall and enjoying it because I have nowhere I need to get to and nothing I need to do.