Yesterday I found an interesting sheet of paper in my journal. I’ve had this journal for months and have never seen it before. It is covered in a German word, “Leuchtturm.” I felt that this would be the Lord’s word for me. I looked it up before heading to a high school to speak and found it means “Lighthouse” or “Beacon.” As I told my story to this group of deaf students, I shared that growing up felt like drowning in an ocean of sound and chaos. This morning I was listening to “Out of Hiding” by Steffany Gretzinger. The words I clearly heard were “I’ll be your lighthouse when you’re lost at sea. I will illuminate everything.” I researched the purpose of a lighthouse. 1. To illuminate waterways made treacherous by shoals (shallow water), reefs, rocks and other hazards. 2. As a point of reference for mariners.”Once again, Jesus spoke to the people and said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
A lighthouse emits light for 24hours a day. It is constant and does not cease to shine. It guides weary travelers to the safety of the shore. It is a breath of fresh air. It is clinging to the promise that the journey was not in vain for the mission is accomplished and the end in sight. A lighthouse illuminates and penetrates through the thickest fog. It wants to bring into the open what is hidden. The secret sins and the sins we are blinded to in ourselves has to be brought before God’s radiant light.
I have been sweetly convicted on my anger. I have allowed the sins of someone towards me to become my secret sin as I harbor it inwardly. Sin ripples out into more brokenness if we don’t confess and recognize it. This is seeing the lighthouse and choosing to stay out in treacherous waters. It is knowing the safety and security Jesus brings yet choosing to remain in the jail cell. James 1:20. “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” Through Christ, not only did He become Sin and take my Sin, he also switches out my Sin for His righteousness. I become the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:17-21).
When I willingly choose to be angry and allow myself to be the victim, I cannot remain in JOY and I cannot in remain in connectedness with Jesus. I will shy away from the light because I am so consumed with the dark blanket of anger. The darkness covers up and hides from what brings it into the open… the lighthouse. In Jesus, life and light. In my sin and anger, death and darkness. The death of who I really am if I do not confess it. Joy will not be my covering or aroma but bitterness. “When we confess our sins,” I said, “God casts them into the deepest ocean, gone forever.” (Corrie ten Boom)
After illuminating these treacherous water I’ve been treading, now I am looking towards my point of reference, Jesus. Looking towards the Author and Perfecter of my faith. His words speak against anger and points me towards forgiveness. Jesus’ whole essence is the forgiveness of Sin… intervening on my behalf and taking the place intended for me. Undeserved yet living in the freedom of being pardoned. When I press to Jesus and His nature, cling to the Divine Image, I become more and more like Him and His forgiveness begins to become part of my nature as well. Forgiveness is not of ourselves. We forgive through the Way (the Cross) Jesus set before us.
“Even as the angry vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him….Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness….And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on his. When he tells us to love our enemies, he gives along with the command, the love itself.”
(Corrie ten Boom)