“Faithfulness and Light?” Shouldn’t the title read “Faithfulness and Love?” This is February after all, and those are the concepts frequently on our minds right now. Well, for a few weeks, I have been thinking about faithfulness, but then a few days ago, light invaded and intertwined itself in my thoughts and notes. How are faithfulness and light related? We want them to ever be there.
As we think about love and our loved ones this month, relationships become our focus. We want the other parties in our relationships to ever be faithful to us. We want our spouses to maintain fidelity. We want our friends to be forever. We want our children not to go prodigal. We want our bosses to always provide us with a paycheck. We want the cashiers to always greet us and treat us well. We desire others to remain faithful to us, and we desire our relationships to remain bright. We even usually attempt to offer faithfulness in return, sometimes even in spite of their failings.
We are supposed to esteem and obey God rather than do what is right in our own eyes. We have the opportunity to follow Him and be at peace with Him and others. But sometimes, there are failings on our parts, and sometimes, there are failing on the parts of others. And unfaithfulness is bitter and dark, cold and lonely, the last thing we want to receive or bear.
Unfaithfulness can be a long, hard winter, and all hope can seem lost. But spring can still come. It can even come in the midst of the winter. When we have gone out to the ends of the world, even there, God’s hand will guide us.1 From the ends of the earth, with overwhelmed hearts, we can cry out for Him to lift us up.2 His faithfulness will give us light, and looking for His light will show Him faithful. Hope will arise and overshadow, overpower, and overcome the darkness. The dark winter will see dawn. Chilling fears and worries will melt in the warmth of His love and reassurance. The blinding blizzard will give way to a clear vision of Who He is. The burdens piled as high as the snow banks will be shouldered by His strong arms. And the lies and deceit that howl in our ears will be silenced by the words of His peace to us and our praise to Him.
“There are multiple cares we have, and there are multiple loads we carry, but we can bear these loads and rest in Him simultaneously. Our burdens do not have to overpower us, and they will not, if we take the time to be led by God in the midst of them. These are not platitudes but truths. I have seen proof in countless lives, including my own. We do not have to wait until we get to the end of the tunnels to see the light; we can see it now, even though it is dark all around us. We can see the light of God’s glory shining through the darkest of clouds and the darkest of nights, radiating brightly through the darkness of hopelessness and the darkness of despair. God gives strength beyond strength and peace beyond peace. He is there with us through His Spirit, and He is there with us in love. He does all things well and will be there with us every moment of every day. He is for us, and He has eternal purpose in each day. He is the fountain of life, and in His light we will see light (Ps. 36:9).”3
We don’t have to wait until the calendar says it’s spring to break free from the clutches of a cruel winter. God’s hope and help are available now. We don’t have to wander alone, aimlessly, through this cold darkness. He will accompany us on our journeys and see us safely home. He is ever faithful and will never leave or forsake His own. He has shown Himself to be faithful to us, faithful to the death, the death on the cross. And He doesn’t change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Will we be faithful to Him? In this world of falling and failing, will we determine to stand? When all else turn away, will we continue on with God?4
If we have been caught up in addiction and adultery, gossip and gluttony, immorality and idolatry, we can turn away from those things and turn our whole hearts to God, forever, until the end. We can order our steps to steadfastly follow Him rather than continue on in the ways of error. He is merciful and will forgive us. His face will shine on us as we draw near to Him and receive His grace, forgiveness, truth, and knowledge.5
We can resolve to stay the course, finish the course, and finish it well. We can allow Him to complete the work He has begun in our lives.6 We can let His light shine in us and through us until the work is finished in us, and He returns again. He will be faithful to do it. He always keeps His promises.
Will our Februarys, and our lives, be filled with His faithfulness and light?
1 See Psalm 139:10.
2 See Psalm 61:2.
3 Francee Strain, No Ordinary Invitation: Called to Live a Life of Eternal Purpose, (Bloomington, IN: WestBow Press, 2017), pp.181–2.
4 See Deuteronomy 7:9, 1 Corinthians 1:9, Philippians 2:8, Hebrews 13:5–6, 8.
5 See Psalm 119:112, 133, 135, 142, 151; Lamentations 3:22–23; Joel 2:12; 2 Peter 3:17–18; 1 John 1:9.
6 See Philippians 1:6.
©Text and photo Francee Strain, February 19, 2023