WEEKLY CHRISTIAN BIBLE STUDY AND DEVOTIONAL FROM GOD’S WORD, FOR THE NEWLY SAVED AND MORE SEASONED BELIEVER, AND FOR OTHERS SEEKING TRUTH. OUR PRAYER IS TO ENCOURAGE YOU AND STRENGTHEN YOUR FAITH IN GOD’S INFINITE MERCY, LOVE AND GRACE, AND IN THE GOSPEL OF THE DEATH, BURIAL AND RESURRECTION OF HIS SON JESUS CHRIST, THAT ALL WHO SEEK HIM HAVE ETERNAL, ABUNDANT LIFE.
Saturday, October 1, 2016
Photo by Michael Clarke Stuff 2012
About 18 months ago my husband Richard and I were featured performers
at the Coliseum, the beautiful ballroom at which the dance scenes in the movie
“Cocoon” were filmed. Because of a scheduling mixup, we arrived at the venue about
two hours earlier than we needed to be there. After we had admired the recent renovations
and dramatic new lighting, chatted with the event organizers, laid out our
costumes and props, warmed up, and prayed, I grew restless and impatient to
perform. Patience is not one of my virtues!
I found myself wondering, “God, why did you bring us here
so early? Surely I could have put this time to better use working on my medical
writing assignments, paying bills, or preparing next week’s blog or Sunday
school lesson. We know that the time is short, and you don’t want us to waste
Just then I recognized a song playing over the loudspeaker
as patrons took the floor for general dancing. I hadn’t heard it for years --
it was an instrumental version of “Sun and Moon,” from the musical “Miss
Saigon.” I felt God gently prompting me, “This is why you are here early. Write
Christian lyrics to this song, and choreograph to it for your next dance ministry piece.”
Humbled and ashamed that I had doubted Him, I quickly
answered in my heart, “Yes, Lord.” My mind began to drift to possible lyrics,
theme and choreography, when I felt His firm suggestion: “One more thing – use
“A hoop??? You mean a hoop skirt?”
“No, a hoop.” This final thought was so emphatic that I
could not dare to disagree, only to ponder how a hoop could possibly be
incorporated into a dance by two people doing lifts that are challenging enough
on their own, let alone while trying to balance a hoop or pass it back and
I told Richard and he just laughed – nervously, though, for
he knew from experience that I would not be easily dissuaded.
With much prayer, trial and error, a few minor injuries,
and many bruises and scrapes, the new dance began to take shape, hoop and all,
by God’s grace and Holy Spirit inspiration. The theme would be that Jesus
Christ is the Light of Heaven, reflecting His light on the believer, who in
turn radiates it to the world. To express this theme, the dance would use the
symbolism of the sun being the source of light on
this planet, and the moon passively reflecting the sun’s rays to illuminate the
earth during the darkness of night (Genesis
God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). He saved us by His
grace (Ephesians 2:8-9) through
our faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way to Heaven (John 14:6),
freeing us from the darkness of our sins (Jeremiah
13:16) to the holy light of His perfect righteousness (Isaiah 50:10; John 3:21; Acts
Once we are clothed in His holiness (Job 29:14; Psalm 132:9; Isaiah 61:10), His
light can reflect from Him to us, radiating from us so that others can see Him through
us. He is the Light of
the world (John 1:9; 8:12; 9:5;
11:9; 12:46), and by this process, we are also the light of
the world (Matthew 5:14; Philippians 2:15), reflecting His
love, truth and holiness to the lost, dark world (John 3:19).
We have no source of light
on our own merits, for our self-righteousness is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Rather, we are like
an empty vessel or unlit candle (Psalm
18:28) through which His light can burn brightly and
illuminate others with His truth (2
Corinthians 4:4-6). If we cease to revolve around Him, and block His
light from reaching us because of sins and weights (Hebrews 12:1) that deflect His radiance, we can no longer
light the world.
Based on the lyrics and choreography of our dance, the hoop,
which in our first practices was a hula hoop, would at times represent the sun,
the moon, the light, or the orbit of the moon around the sun. We soon realized
it would be far more effective if we could use the hoop as a connection between
us and to bear my weight in some of the lifts, rather than just gesturing with
it or handing it back and forth.
But we learned quickly that a standard hula hoop is not
strong enough for that (even reinforced with duct tape!) and that most sturdier
hoops would be too heavy to carry in one outstretched arm.
In His faithfulness and foresight, God had prearranged the
solution to these problems. It
turned out that a specialty studio involved in hoop design was located right in
our neighborhood – who knew?? Clearly God did! I also began weight lifting so
that I could more gracefully handle the modified hoop, which weighs aboutseven pounds.
Despite my training since childhood as a ballet dancer, and
our joint experience in ballroom and adagio dancing, neither of us had any
acrobatic or gymnastic experience involving any type of apparatus. This is not
the sort of experiment one ordinarily attempts for the first time at older
ages! But God in His faithfulness (Psalm
89:8; 1 Corinthians 1:9) guided us through all of that as well.
Since we have added this dance to our repertoire, I have often joked that now I
want to run away and join the circus!
When God calls us to a particular assignment, we need not
question our lack of ability, experience, or resources needed to complete the
task, for if we obey, He will provide! (Philippians
4:19) He used Moses, a stammerer, to deliver eloquent oratory to
Pharaoh to let God’s people go (Exodus
4:10-12). He used David, a shepherd boy who had never been to battle,
to slay the giant Goliath (1 Samuel 17:39-50).
He used Noah, whose preaching skills won no converts beyond his own family (Genesis 7:7), to repopulate the
earth and his descendants to give rise to different races (Genesis 9:1, 18-19).
Joshua realized that age was no barrier when God promised him
a great land even though He had just reminded him that he was “old and stricken
in years” (Joshua 13:1). God
answered Abraham and Sarah’s prayers for a child when they were both ancient,
and after more than a two decade wait since He had first promised (Genesis 18:10-12) that their
child would give rise to a great nation!
God does not look for our ability, but our availability to
fulfill His perfect plan for our lives. May we listen for His still, small voice (1 Kings 19:12), quickly
obey, and trust Him to equip us for His battle and make a way to complete His
mission! May we be His light in the world until that day when neither sun nor
moon are needed, for His glory alone (Isaiah
60:19; Revelation 21:23; 22:5) will illuminate the new heavens and new earth!