Sunday, February 23, 2014

Toward the Light

 I've become obsessed with tulips over the past year.

Why, you may ask? Well, for many reasons.

Tulips have always been my Mom's favorite flower. When I asked her years ago why tulips were her favorite flower she said she loves them because to her they represent spring and how magnificent and joyful spring is after a long, cold, dreary winter. Growing up outside of Chicago for the first seventeen years of her life, my Mom would always knew that the brutality of the harsh Chicago winter was over when tulips would begin to spring up. They were a sign of hope and new life. A guiding post for spring to enter.

Having now been through two East Coast winters, I can completely understand where my Mom is coming from and in turn, tulips have quickly become one of my favorite flowers as well. I'll never forgot the joy I experienced last spring here in New York when tulips sprang up all around the city. I cannot wait to see that take place again this year to signal the start of spring!

In the mean time, I've been buying fresh tulips for myself to keep on my desk or window seal in my bedroom as a personal reminder for spring to draw near. The beautiful thing that I've noticed with all of the tulips that I've bought is how without fail, they always bend toward the light. Whether it is the light of my window or the light of my lamp, they always bend, lean, and open toward the light. This is incredible! What other flower that you know of purposefully bends and anchors itself toward light?

Upon google investigation of why tulips heavily bend toward light, I found this extremely interesting answer on

"There are reasons tulips seem to bob and weave in the vase. Says Caras, 'Unlike other flowers, tulips keep growing after being cut. The movement occurs as the stems grow upward, while the large flowers respond and grow towards the light, a phenomenon known as phototropism. The flowers open wide during the day and close at night.' These graceful habits are ones floral designers treasure, but can confuse people used to 'so-called normal flowers that just stand there in the vase,' says Caras" (

Tulips keep growing after they are cut. Wow! That is a powerful metaphor in and of itself that I wasn't even looking for, but am extremely excited to know. I love how the author of this blurb says, "These graceful habits are ones floral designers treasure". It caused me to think about how much God must treasure it when we grow and bend toward His light, especially after being cut. This graceful posture that tulips take on is a result of their continuous growth and trend toward light, which got me thinking...

What would our lives look like if we were continuously bent toward God's light? If we made the conscious choice and decision daily to bend toward His light, especially in those moments when it would be so easy to bend toward the darkness instead?

Bent toward His light in our thoughts.
Bent toward His light in our actions.
Bent toward His light in they way we spend our time.
Bent toward His light in the status and state of our heart.

Our lives would be much more peaceful and fulfilling and the world would be a much BRIGHTER place. For light always outshines the darkness around it. This is the lifestyle we are called to live as followers of Jesus and as children of God. The Bible even specifically refers to those of us who follow God as "children of light" in 1 Thess. 5:5, saying, "For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don't belong to darkness and night" (NIV).

It is a simple concept at first, but is extremely life changing if we truly consider it on a deeper level for our everyday lives. 

So often in our daily life it because so simple to let our thoughts and our actions and even the state of our heart bend toward darkness, toward the ways of the world. It feels easier. It feels like a quicker solution. And in all honesty, sometimes it feels more natural.

But tulips were designed to bend toward the light and grow in the light and so are we.

"So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin." -1 John 6:8 (NLT)

"He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light." -Job 33:28 (NIV)
"For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Do everything without complaining and arguing,  so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people." -Phil 2:13-15 (NLT)

"You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light." -Psalm 18:28 (NIV)

"For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light." -Psalm 36:9

"Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord." -Pslam 89:15 (NIV).

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." -Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)

"The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light." -Romans 13:12 (NIV)

"Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live." -Psalm 43:3 (NLT)

Is there a place of your life where you have not been walking in the fullness of His light and His truth? What part of your life, or place in your heart, or circumstance you are dealing with needs the light of God to invade? 

I encourage you to join me in inviting the Light of God and the Truth of Jesus to invade those areas and circumstances of your life. Just as our eyes hurt in the natural when they quickly adjust from darkness to light, it may feel uncomfortable at first if you've become used to and accustomed to darkness, but believe me, the joy and the freedom that You experience when you walk in the fullness of His light far outweighs the the discomfort of the moment. Take a moment and ask the Lord to show you if there are any areas of your life that you haven't been walking in the fullness of His light. This is not to condemn you, but to SET. YOU. FREE. God is never looking to condemn us (there is a reason why the devil is called "the accuser"-Rev. 10:12), but always to set us free from the bondage of darkness. This may not be major sin (or perhaps it is), but simply an area where you've allowed some darkness to compromise a portion of your light. It may even be an area of your thought life that has been clouded by darkness. Ask the Lord to shine His light and His truth into this area of your life and see how differently things look when His light shines upon it. 

Truth will be revealed.
Lies will be dispelled. 
Your thoughts will be renewed. 
Your heart will be healed.
You will experience God's love for you in an even deeper way. 
Your love for God will grow even stronger.
You will make the powers of darkness flee wherever you go.

Lets take a journey of bending toward His light. 

"But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God." -John 3:21


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