Yesterday morning I was photographing the first daffodils appearing in my yard, and today I am analyzing snow melts. The swiftness with how rapidly things can change is astounding. One sit I did in the warmth of the sun. My next sit held just over twenty-four hours later I did beneath the stars and was fighting not to give into the cold. Ironically, in both cases what caught my attention was phenomenon dependent on the sun.
During the day, as I photographed the daffodils, I moved around to the far side of them because the blooms were all facing away from me towards the sun. When plants track the sun, it’s known as phototropic behavior. Realizing these plants are always chasing light prompted me to reflect on our need to turn our faces toward the Son of God, the light of the world. Our behavior and direction needs to be driven by a constant reorientation toward Jesus Christ.
The lyrics to the song, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus“, came to mind as I admired the beauty of the daffodils.
Turn you eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
in the light of his glory and grace.
If you were to watch a daffodil, no matter how intently, you would never see it move. The movement is a constant series of minute readjustments. To turn our eyes upon Jesus and look full in his wonderful face requires a similar continually reorientation.We must be light chasers as well.
Practically speaking, this means a quiet inner turning of the heart and mind toward God throughout our daily tasks. Whether we are showering in the morning, preparing a meal, driving to work, or helping a child with homework, part of us needs to be communing with the Lord. Perhaps, this is what Paul meant when he wrote, “16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
If so, then what it means to turn our eyes upon Jesu is pretty clear. Rejoice no matter what is going on. For example, you oversleep and make it into work too late and get chewed out, rejoice anyways. You have a relationship collapse, choose joy somehow even in the midst of loss. You are mistreated harshly, find gratitude nevertheless.
As hard as this process of continually yielding over to God seems, I suspect electing not to can be infinitely worse. Choosing anger over joy is a dark way to live. Choosing bitterness over forgiveness is a long cold walk in a lonely valley. Choosing fear of what may happen, rather than faith in what has been promised, is an anxiety laden lifestyle.
Let’s all take a lead from the daffodils this next week and be more phototropic, meaning, always orienting toward the light. Hopefully, as a result my haeart will look every bit as bright and beautiful to the Lord, as the splash of yellow daffodils lend to my still wintery landscape.
Questions: What is the hardest thing you are dealing with right now? What blessing is happening not only despite that burden, but perhaps even because of it? How can you choose to exhibit joy right now regardless of circumstance?
A Collect for Seeking Light in Darkness: Holy God who brought life even out of death, help us to make tiny adjustments in our actions and attitudes that cause us to face the light of the world, Jesus Christ, even in the midst of great darkness, so that we my reflect your glory, through Him we come to you. Amen.