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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Light in the Gathering Gloom: Day 5

Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves
to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst 
of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear 
as light in the world, holding fast the word of life… 
Philippians 2:14 (NASB)

Grumbling and disputing. Good words to describe two ways we handle situations we don’t like: self-talk and other-talk. To do things without grumbling means with a cheerful attitude (inside). To handle situations without disputing is to avoid (to the best of our ability) words and topics that will lead to arguments (outside).

These words don’t just describe life horizontally, but can also be descriptive of our attitude toward God when life has not gone as we planned.

For instance:

We raised our children to know and love the Lord, yet today they are prodigals who have turned their backs on everything they were taught.

We married and believed it was forever, but our spouse has walked out on the vows we believed were a sacred promise.

Everywhere we go, we are assaulted by a culture that celebrates depravity and perversion and assaults everything we hold dear.

The truth is this: the darker the night the brighter the stars. Even if our child never comes through that door or our spouse never repents or the culture never finds its way back to the ‘50’s, we keep on shining. Through anger, shame, heartbreak, even questions that seem to have no answers, we hold fast to the word of life. Even when our light seems to make no difference in this world, we keep on keeping on, because the truth is this: Someone does notice.

When our Savior in heaven looks down on this dark world and sees our little lights shining brightly and bravely even in the gathering gloom, He smiles.

It is the same smile that one day we will see face to face.

The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it (John 1: 2,3).

Nancy Shirah

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