For a while now, the Lord has been giving me one word each day, either in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning. These have been quite random at times such as ‘glass’ ‘blacksmith’ ‘stretched’ ‘full’  and one day even ‘nothing’ but I missed the significance of that one the first time so he had to give it to me two days running! But that’s another story! Anyway,  from this one word I have always been able to send a word of encouragement, I hope, in a text to a friend. Usually this has been a personal word of encouragement and therefore not something I have shared with others.

However, earlier this week the word I got was ‘light’ and it led me to not only send my text of encouragement but also to expand my thoughts to the wider church family.

My recent dream has laid heavily on me at times but I have been blessed to talk of it in person and by email to a good number of people and, although I think there is still more to uncover, I now believe that the people in shackles are not actually the lost but people in the church itself who are weighed down with memories, fears and situations that are keeping them from fully being freed to enjoy the peace, love and joy that the Lord has promised them. This is not because they have not been forgiven by God but because deep down they have maybe not forgiven themselves or they find that they keep repeating past mistakes or living in ways that they know are contrary to Gods ways, and they feel deeply the shame of their sin.

God does not want us to feel that way and he has told us clearly in his word that he is able to bring us into the light, that whatever we have done, or are still doing, can be brought into the light so that we can have the Freedom that Christ purchased for us at the cross. I believe now that the one giving comfort in that dark place was an angel and that the dream was saying we must all be ‘angels to those among us who are suffering.

As I thought about ‘light’ that morning Ps 119 v 105 came to mind where it says ‘Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path’

Jesus told us that our pathway through life won’t always be easy and that ‘in this world you will have trouble’ – and nothing is surer than that. If, so far, your life has been free from it then praise the Lord but be sure that trouble will come in one form or another at some time.

It got me to thinking that as a family here at ACC it is a delight to see the love and compassion that is shown by so many. Gal 6:2 tells us to ‘carry one another’s burdens’ and this is what we can see happening so often in our fellowship.

When our brothers and sisters are facing difficult situations, it is a real joy to be able to pray for them and, where we can, help them practically

Sometimes problems can be shared openly, and we can all pray knowledgeably about them and offer help where appropriate.  At other times sharing the full details of a situation is more personal and  therefore more difficult to share except maybe with one or two close friends but, even if we only know the basics, our prayers of intercession are heard by God and he knows everything about the situation.

At any one time none of us can be all things to all people, but through God’s grace and because of the relationships he has given us with others, it is wonderful to see that, in one way or another, everyone is cared for by someone who has been purposely placed there for them.

Sometimes, through infirmity, age or other difficulties we are not in a position to help someone practically but whoever we are, whatever our situation we can PRAY and our God will hear our  prayers and delight to answer them. Our God has made a way for us ALL to ‘carry one another’s burdens’ and he loves and blesses greatly those who do. Some of the greatest work of God is carried out in ‘the secret place of prayer’ when the ‘Prayer warriors’ intercede for the saints.

In Matt 5 Jesus tells us to be salt and light in the world. As we carry one another’s burdens we obey his command, and we can all make a real difference in the lives of those around us and this will be seen by those who don’t know our God.

So, the word ‘light’ got me thinking about Jesus being the light of the world and then him telling us to be ‘salt and light’ in the world and to care for one another.

But, then just to finish he reminded me that the darkness won’t last forever and in Isaiah 42;16 we are told:

‘And I will lead the blind
    in a way that they do not know,
in paths that they have not known
    I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,    the rough places into level ground.
These are the things I do,
    and I do not forsake them.,