Yielding To Christianity

Patricia Hofer

Consciousness

Continuum of consciousness explored in Living Strong.

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Christ gives comfort, pushing back the night.

When we’re sick or scared or depressed, the darkness of night is often the worst time. That’s what I experienced years ago when I had all the symptoms of a nervous breakdown. I couldn’t eat or sleep, and because I couldn’t relate to people, I shut myself away from family and friends. All I could think of during those weeks were my fears. I felt no joy, and I was terrified of the nights.
When I think of that time now, Jesus’ promise about our being “full of light” comes to mind. I’ve always loved that. And yet Jesus says in the next sentence: “But if your eye is bad [or evil or unhealthy], your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness” (NASB Matt. 6:22-23)!
Certainly my darkness was great. And though my fears back then may sometimes have swirled into the paranoia of being under siege, mostly it was the darkness of despair that pushed at me. My life had been filled with pressure and loss and loneliness. Like a drowning person trying to save myself, I thrashed around focusing only on what I needed to do and what I was failing to do. Filled with self-effort instead of self-surrender, I was desperately praying and pleading with God, hoping to pull His light down into my life.
After about six weeks of turmoil, a turning point came around four o’clock one morning. I was shaking in bed after a sleepless night, terrified of something that I couldn’t even identify or define. So I started singing hymns, verses that I now recognize were filled with Christ. He pushed back the darkness, filling my heart with his marvelous light. How comforting it is to know that the living Saviour is always awake, never for a moment leaving us alone in the dark of night.

Not here, not there, but something apart. “Lo, I’m with you,” speaking in our heart.
Giving comfort, pushing back the night. Ever awake, lifting us to light. (Living Calm 2016)

The living Saviour is always present and speaking to us.

Jesus describes the kingdom of God like the smallness of a “mustard seed,” like the transforming power of “leaven” or yeast, like a “pearl of great price” that we are to value above all else. And yet, these physical images or comparisons are the Lord’s way of describing something that isn’t physical at all, something wholly apart from the natural world we live in.
Jesus actually made this point to the Pharisees after they came to him asking about “when the kingdom of God should come.” The kingdom of God, Jesus said, wasn’t something they were going to see “with observation.” They weren’t going to be able to look at it and say, “Lo, here or, lo there!” Rather, says the Son of God, “the kingdom of God is within you” (KJV Luke 17:20-21).
This inner individuality, the Christ spirit in each heart, is God’s gift to us in his “breath of life.” It is now and will always be who we are. And the Lord himself will always be beside us, walking with us to guide and to comfort. Jesus assures us of that after his resurrection when he appeared to the disciples, saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” As he sends them out to “teach all nations,” the Lord reassures them, “Lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world” (KJV Matt. 28:18-20).
Our conscious connection to God and His Christ is not limited at all by the physical nature of things. Wherever we are, whatever part of the world we’re in or whatever part of the human timeline we’re on, the living Saviour is always present and speaking to us. Once we realize this, once our minds and hearts become more available to him, we’ll never feel alone again.

But we are more than nature defines, a living soul with a conscious mind.
Not here, not there, but something apart. “Lo, I’m with you,” speaking in our heart. (Living Calm 2016)

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