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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Stanway

Light in the darkness (2)

"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you"

Isaiah 60:1

Plants- who else loves plants? especially houseplants, it seems to be a new trend that's all over Pinterest and social media, everyones got to have plants- the greener the better and they have to be set up in just a way that it looks like they are super boho, and not the reality that you spent hours deliberating where to place them, probably dropped one in the process and if you're anything like me...struggling to keep.them.alive!

For anyone that's visited my home, you'll know I have a fair amount of greenery, and if you ask me about them, I actually don't know their official fancy names, nor do I buy specific plants- I'm more of a "That looks nice, ill buy it"purchaser.

I very recently bought a plant from the Eden project- smugly showed it off, with its cute little jelly bean dangly bits and placed it proudly on my shelf in the kitchen, I really did feel smug too because I knew it was a type of succulent and the label said it didn't need much water. Bingo. Surely this one will make it! Right? wrong!

Two days in and it's dead, brown, droopy and pretty much a goner.

Realising my mistake amongst my prideful new plant owner facade, was: I had put it in darkness, not full darkness, this is my kitchen after all and were not cave dwellers, but I hadn't noticed just how little daylight reached that area.

Lets get a little technical, scienc(y) if you will: Plants need 3 elements, Oxygen, water and sunlight in order to photosynthesise, in order to : GROW, BLOOM & PRODUCE SEED.

Please tell me you felt a spiritual correlation right there?!?

If any of these elements are missing, energy reserves are depleted and the plant dies.

Theres a process for plants called etiolation (fancy!) which indicates that plants can live for a short time without light, an adaption of sorts which causes the plant to focus all its remaining resources on growing and reaching as far as it can to reach the light again.

When we move ourselves out of the light, His light and enter the darkness- and this really does look different for everyone, we all have our own battles, our own weaknesses and blind spots- it creates just the perfect environment for the enemy to drop by and meddle.

The interesting thing with the plant analogy is that when a plant moves out of the light, it isn't immediate death, when we move out of His light, it isn't immediate disaster (sometimes it is) but more commonly its a decline, a slippery slope that the beginning feels fuzzy and you're not sure how you ended up on this route or even how to get off it.

I believe God provides plenty of ways to get off the wrong path, the still voice you hear inside- that's Him.

Oh to be so in tune with His spirit that we would know immediately and make a u-turn!

But alas, life is life and living can be messy.

More often than doing a complete 180 on God though- I think throughout our whole lives we can fall in and out of shadow, fall into that temptation we've fought against, fall into the worldly narrative of hopelessness, despair and negativity, fall into the trap of needing to be more & make more (friends, image goals, money, likes...*insert worldly goal here*) and we begin to bruise, to wilt and stop producing seed. . and miraculously He sees us, He knows us and He swoops in and urges us to move toward the light, with His spirit within us reaching toward the Son, we are again brought to the realisation that we need the light, we need His word and we really need His grace above all- you have the choice to stay dwelling without Him in the darkness, or to move out of that situation and back into His light.

Do not stay in the dark, that is not your home.

Don't ignore the still small voice. It's the only one that matters.

"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life"

John 8:12

I have another plant, she looked dead. Crispy, brownish and I very nearly threw her out as another failed ownership but... just recently she has started sprouting new shoots, fresh growth. Hallelujah!

This plant has sat in a window, so plenty of light, and watered regularly.

This one represents me, through some of the seasons of my life, and I'm sure a lot more to come - those times that I've studied Gods word, worshipped him, followed Him as best I could and still felt a bit crispy.

As though I was still parched despite His living water, as though I was in a shadowland, despite sitting in His light.

Those are the times you get to look back on and see where He was working, the times that you feel in a shadowland and yet the working is internal, and one day- boom.

New growth, fresh seed. The Aha! moment.

Just like trees in the Autumn/winter, they wilt and look so fruitless.So lifeless, but come spring and out pop all these fresh and beautiful leaves, the scent of new flowers is sweet on the spring air and fruit is on its way, the winter has passed

(I really do not enjoy winter, personal winters even more so!).

If that's you right now, know that your spring is coming. Do not be tempted into the shadow, stay on His path, read His word and His light will be a Light unto your path.

"For He has rescued us from he dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins"

Colossians 1:13-14

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