The Porch Light

sized-front-porch-entry-beach-style-with-beam-rectangular-area-rugs

 

I like to find similes, ways that real life experiences can help me better understand the Bible and how to apply it to my spiritual life. Maybe sort of like parables that Jesus used to teach people things. It just makes the concepts easier to understand for me. Some of these concepts, thoughts, should be and often are, things I learned as a child. Maybe similar lessons in Sunday School, maybe the same concepts taught other ways. Regardless if the lessons He teaches me are the simple ones, the more complicated, or if He is reteaching me things that I know, but sort of put way in the back of my mind and He wants them brought more to the front; He does remind me, teach me and I praise God that He is able to use so many things to show me what He wants me to know and think about.

And, the most recent of many lessons.

 

 

moth

 

The other night I went outside after it was dark and as I went out the door I turned on switch for the porch light, but it didn’t come on. So, I step back inside because, well, maybe I only thought I turned it on, but nope, switch was on and realized the light bulb had burned out. I went inside, got a new bulb and using a flashlight to see I replaced it. When the new bulb came on I noticed the cobwebs in the fixture as well as all the bugs that had been trapped and consumed. First thought was that I needed to clean it, but decided to wait until it was light outside so I could see better. Then, I went about what I was going to do initially (which sadly when I get distracted by one thing, I forget what I was doing to begin with and end up not getting it done, is that age? Naw, always been that way, maybe some attention deficit. BUT, I digress.) I finished and as I was going back inside I noticed that the new light was surrounded by insects, moths, gnats, flies, mosquitoes and whatever else. I thought about how many had been attracted to the light before and ended up consumed. As I thought about it more, I thought about my recent post on spider webs.

I thought about how the insects were attracted to the light. I always wondered why they do that. Why do moths fly to and into flames sometimes? Is it for warmth? Security? Do they for some reason think the colors are some sort of flower and as such food for them? I may have learned in school what instinct draws moths to the flames, but I can’t recall why at this time and as I think about it, I don’t believe they have definitive proof of why, only different theories. But, they are attracted to the light, the flame, and once there, despite what, they often find themselves either in a flame, trapped in a web or in some other way consumed and destroyed by what attracted them.

Further thoughts and the analogy of humans being drawn to what we think is light often leads to our destruction. Why are we lured by the false light of the world? What is it about the human psyche that makes us want things that, from a different perspective, one should know would lead to our spiritual demise? Why do we worry so much about the things of this world such as money and the things it can buy like fancy clothes, new cars, fancy houses and such? What instinct or desire is it that inexplicably lures us into destruction? All over media whether that be television, radio, magazines, billboards are advertisements that promise so much and cause us to want those things. Cars, clothes, perfume, alcohol, and endless other things. Trying to obtain these things, or obtaining and proceeding in the lifestyle necessary to obtain and “enjoy” all the things promised in the ads takes us down paths that in the long run are not in our best interests.

I see others lured into situations and lifestyles that as I look from a distance it is easy to see is going to be harmful to them in the long run. I know in hindsight I have taken the wrong path while seeking a false light. One gets so fixated on things that one is not able to see what is truly happening. We are being lead to our destruction. We compromise ourselves, our values, knowing initially that something is wrong, but somehow we justify our actions as we seek whatever we are seeking, whatever light is attracting us at the time, that we ignore the dangers until we are pulled in too closely and either get consumed by the flames, trapped in a spider’s web close to the light or some other way are destroyed as we try to move as close to the light as possible. Maybe we think we will only “almost get burned” and can enjoy whatever benefit we think we can derive from whatever light we are focused on at the time. But, it ends up the closer we get, the harder it is to resist and we realize too late we are unable to escape. Things that for whatever reason held such promise for us end up causing our destruction.

Well, as I think further, part of the lesson He was teaching me is that one needs to be ever vigilant, to be on the look out for possible traps, for things that may attract us and lure us into the flames.

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15

 

But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.   1 Timothy 6:9

 

Of course, it would even be better if, rather than get trapped or nearly trapped, we watched and avoided the temptations of the world that is not always the case.   But, if we remember that there are many perils and temptations, watch for them and constantly seek Him, those things are easier to avoid.

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  Matthew 26:41

 

But, being warned, sometimes we still fall victim. When we find ourselves in these situations, where we thought we were proceeding to something good, when we realize maybe it isn’t so good for us but that we can still escape without harm but then too late find we are not so easily able to escape, when we are first tempted by something, we have someone that WILL BE THERE to help us escape and save us from our foolishness. Regardless of how close we get, when we know we need Him, He will save us.

 

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.   1 Corinthians 10:13

 

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.   Revelations 3:10

 

He is there to help us fight temptation and to deliver us from the temptations that we find ourselves too weak to resist. When we are lost because of that, He will deliver us. What an amazing Lord!

 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

 

It is far too easy to get attracted to “the porch lights” of the world and then it can be difficult to escape but He can help us avoid those things and should we not avoid them He will save us from whatever trap we find ourselves in. All one needs do is ask Him. Such a simple concept but at the same time difficult for humans and that’s why we need Him. I have been caught up in things and very nearly destroyed by them but He has saved me from them and is working to save me from others. Praise God for His faithful dedication to me and all of us.

 

 

Lord, I praise You for all the life lessons, the simple things that You use to help me better unsderstand what You want me to learn. I praise You for the grace, mercy and forgiveness You give me. I pray in the Name of Jesus that You continue to teach me, help me understand, use me to help others see You. Help me better understand the heart and mind of Christ. I pray that You help me know the temptations in life that will draw me away from You and lead to my destruction. Help me recognize that the lifestyle I as a human may want is the wrong thing and will only serve to harm me and my Christian walk. Show me what things I am allowing me to move towards the fire, towards damnation and eternal death. Help me walk away from those things and know how to seek the true Light of Christ. Thank You for my salvation and the forgiveness that Jesus earned for me. Please, draw us to You and teach us all the mercy You have for us.

Amen

 

Thank You all for the visit and time to read my post. I hope something is helpful and blesses someone. Sometimes, He teaches me things in strange ways. But, I do hope that all are blessed somehow today, and are a blessing to others in the process.

 

Melted marbles

melted marbles

 

I have mentioned my Pop a few times, or a lot, he was a smart guy. At times, I forgot that. He wasn’t highly educated, but education and intelligence are not the same. So many educated people aren’t very smart. They know a lot, but don’t have the ability to think and see things well at times. Now, sometimes that is me too, educated, but not smart, other times, thanks to people like Pop, my grandmother, my parents, aunts, uncles and such, I am, at least in my own mind, pretty smart. They passed on to me a lot of wisdom and intelligence. But, despite not being educated, Pop was extremely intelligent. He could see things in his mind, some contraption or something that would be useful. He would do what some call upcycling, taking junk and building something useful out of it. That last part is something I will need to use for another lesson to myself, another day but, yet again, I digress. Back to the marbles.

Well, my grandparents had a small farmette one would call it these days, with a few outbuildings, sheds, shop, and the like. Well, one day I got there and where one had been the day before was a smoldering pile of debris. He was looking outside, looking at it. Apparently it had caught fire during the night for whatever reason; perhaps a short in the wiring, maybe some old gasoline soaked rags spontaneously burst into flame, a spark from the woodstove, hard to say. But, burn it did. The remnants, were as I said, smoldering, but most of the things had cooled. He used a rake to poke around at the ashes and debris, seeing if there was anything he could salvage. He dragged out a gob of stuff. Gob is the best word to describe it, whatever it was it was covered in soot and ash, unrecognizable to me. He said “well, that might be kinda nice, we will see when it is cooled off a little more.” He finished for the time, then we went off to do other things. Later that day we went back to the gob. He tested it to see if it was hot, no, it had cooled enough to handle and then, took it to the water trough and washed it off a little. Still looked like a black mess to me. Then, to the shop, grabbed a hammer, and kind of tapped on it a bit. Bits of the outer covering came off. After some of this, he showed it to me. Now, I couldn’t tell what it had been, but it was big piece of multicolored glass about the size of a quart jar and had some lumps and bumps in it. But, still, it was pretty. He showed it to me and asked what I thought. I said it was neat. He asked if I knew what it was as he held it up and let the sun shine through it. Now, the sunlight coming through gave it an even more interesting appearance and as the sunlight refracted through the mass it cast beams of light in every direction. I was fascinated.  He asked if I knew what it was and of course, I had no clue. He said, “remember your jar of marbles? This is them. The fire melted them together, made something beautiful out of them.” And, it was very beautiful. I wish I still had it, but it was lost over the years and probably long destroyed or in the landfill someplace.

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 1 Peter 1:7

Now, this is where the real smarts came in. I was impressed at the time he knew what it was, how to get the outer shell of glass off and show the real beauty of the object. But, that wasn’t really smart lesson for me. The lesson, like so many of my youth, that was lost to me at the time. He started talking about how sometimes God uses fire to change us, to make us something more beautiful, to make us different for him. Sometimes he uses fire to make things stronger or to test things because if they can stand the fires of life, they are strong.

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It [is] my people: and they shall say, The LORD [is] my God. Zechariah 13:9

Well, being young, I just thought, ok, but lemme have my marbles, I am gonna go show everyone. And, off I go. Here, many years later, after dealing with other fires, the firestorms of life that all have at times. Reflecting on life lessons, scriptures that relate to them and what I can, and should have learned, long ago. Yes, sometimes I am tested. I need testing, daily. I need refined. I need to be put into His furnace to burn away the impurities. And, at this time, Yes, I am forgiven, but I sure have a lot of work that needs done.

 

Lord, I praise you and thank you for all the grace and mercy. I thank you for those who taught me lessons that I did not understand at the time, they stayed with me and in your wisdom, you show me and give me understanding when I am ready for it. I thank you for your salvation and forgiveness. Jesus, I pray that you will continue to work on me, purify me with the fire of your Holy Spirit. I pray that you work in the lives of loved ones that you purify them as well. Show them your way to the truth, the light, to you Jesus.

 

Thanks to those who are able to bear with me through these writings. I hope that you all have all the blessings Christ has planned for you.