Uneclipsed

Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

A mere 40 miles to the north or northeast of my house lies the path of totality for the solar eclipse this coming Monday afternoon. Being a bit of a natural phenomenon junkie, it might seem strange that I am not planning on packing up my crew and hitting the road to get inside that swath of real estate in which I could view the first total eclipse to happen in Tennessee in my lifetime.

But I am not.

While I confess that I would dearly, dearly love to see the sun in total eclipse, I also have a healthy respect for Nashville traffic. I know without a doubt that Nashville will have no shortage of traffic on eclipse day.

Just yesterday, I did have some hearty laughs with my friends who are making the trek. We imagined ourselves all stranded on one of the interstates in a gridlock of cars, the pre-eclipse August sun baking its way into our patience, and her spending more time looking to be certain that her youngest two children’s eyes were properly covered by the protective lenses than actually seeing the big event itself.

We laughed ourselves even sillier as we imagined putting their 6 kids and my 3 to work on a couple of preposterous inventions we came up with to protect the eyes of small children who had not been able to acquire the NASA-approved filtered lenses, hawking them on the sides of packed-out streets and parks in hopes of redeeming the hours lost to traveling north – or even find some way to turn the thing around should we be caught in a traffic jam a mile or two south of the path of totality and miss the thing entirely.

To be fair, I had been up since 4 that morning and they had just returned from a long road trip. But it was certainly funny at the time…. though you probably had to be there.

Anyway, all this eclipse talk and planning got me thinking about God. I admit that I did think of Joel 2:31 (The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes), but even beyond that, my mind strayed to the types of things that eclipse God’s glory in my own life.

Pain. That’s one for sure.

By His grace, I have been able to find purpose, hope, and even joy in the middle of chronic migraine and other assorted physical delights. Yet I have to admit that at times, weeks of relentless pain can seem to cast a pall over all of life, even seeming to grow so large as to hide the radiance of the Almighty in my days.

Then, of course, there is family strife – which is just another type of pain. Difficult circumstances. Riots and wars. Woe.

But not only hardship – sometimes the temptations and comforts of life in America can can loom large and I find myself quite suddenly walking in their shadow instead of walking in the Light.

Yet in each instance, whether trial or ease, I find that His glory has never actually changed. It only seems to be so because for that fateful instant, I have taken my eyes off Him. I have either allowed some promised pleasure or some dreadful difficulty snare my attention and come between me and my King.

How I wish that these spiritual eclipses were as infrequent as the solar variety! Even still, I take heart in knowing that they, too, are really nothing more than natural phenomena – simply a part of the process of sanctification as my Lord patiently allows me to see the transient nature of whatever it is that I have allowed to dominate my mind.

Whether it is pain or pleasure, I am thankful that the shadow always passes, revealing once more the steady and unfading Glory of the Lord.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Psalms 19:1

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8 thoughts on “Uneclipsed

  1. I’m glad you mentioned the eclipse. I guess one would have to be deaf not to hear about it. But how marvelous is God. Me and my wife were talking about how amazing it is that they can even predict it. That is a lot of mathematics. I am settling for the partial view.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are settling for a partial view, too. We’re pretty close, though, so still should be cool. It really is fascinating – I’ve learned some pretty interesting things just looking up eclipse info! Just one more amazing feat of an infinitely amazing God.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you sharing your thoughts…
    Joel 3:5 also says “the sun and moon grow dark, and the stars lose their brightness…”
    But also Romans 8:18 encourages us and says that “the pain you are feeling can’t compare to the joy that is coming…” and I hold unto this too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen, absolutely! I love Romans 8:18. Second Corinthians 4:16 and Psalm 73:26 are among my favorites when pain is on the day’s agenda, too. All of this life will be less than a blip in the face of eternity – I find great encouragement in that fact!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful thoughts here, Heather. Praising Him that nothing can eclipse the eternal Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Satan thought the hour of darkness would kill the light that He came to give us, but not so. He lives on and His light is ours forever. Blessings as you dwell within His light.

    Liked by 1 person

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