Christian Living

Spiritual Life

God's Lamp

While grieving over my brother Johnny’s death, I buried anger towards God deep in the caverns of my heart. Yet, like a miner searching for precious gems, the Lord continually probes our hearts with his penetrating light. His word says,

“The lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of a man; it searches out his inmost being” (Proverbs 20:27).

Whether we recognize him or not, God continually examines us. Our part in the process requires a willingness to look with God and discover what keeps us from experiencing a vibrant relationship with him. God tried repeatedly to involve me in his search, but to no avail. My refusal to look at the anger and hurt over my brother’s murder hindered the healing God so wanted for me.

Despite my refusal to look inward, my spiritual life began to blossom at the birth of my first child, but something still wasn’t right; a problem remained.

Our God never gives up on us. Like a miner in a cave with a headlamp, he kept shining his light in my inmost being as I prayed, worked through Bible studies, devoured counseling books, and attended conferences. His lamp shone brighter and brighter into the depths of my heart until I finally looked at the misdirected resentment I felt toward him for allowing my brother to be taken away in the prime of his life.

I confessed: "I’m so sorry, Lord, for being angry with you all of these years. I didn’t have anyone else to blame. Lord, you know we never found out who murdered Johnny. You also know how I tend to follow the traditions of my family, which deals with hard issues by burying them. The unwritten rules of “don’t talk, don’t trust, and don’t feel” governed the home I grew up in. This caused my thinking towards you to be twisted. Even though the Psalms are full of stories of David pouring out everything in his heart to you, whether good or bad, I still thought your children weren’t allowed to fault or question you. But you have put an end to all of that foolishness. I praise you for your healing power in my heart."

At that moment, the anger and hurt melted away. Now when faced with the temptation to bury my hurt, anger, and frustrations, I ask him to shine his lamp in my heart and show me what I need to confess, praying another searching prayer found in God’s Word:

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).

We all desire to live healed and with power. Asking the God of the universe to shine his lamp on us and in us as he leads us his way is the best place to begin.

Copyright © 2011 Susan Browning Schulz. Used by permission. 

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