Psalm 97:11 AV “Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.”
This light prayer is being posted later than usual because I am in South Africa and could not keep up with the normal schedule. I taught the last seminar yesterday and was just too tired to do anything more cerebral when I got home.
The Saturday seminar was entitled “Growing When You are Stuck” and about 180 people came. It was easily the most high-impact message I shared the whole time I have been on the continent. It will be fun to check the archives in heaven and see all of the different choices that were made yesterday as a result of the reframing that went on.
There was rain twice yesterday which is unusual because it should not rain here until mid-October. There was a pronounced shift in the spiritual atmosphere after the first rain at noontime.
Today (Sunday morning my time) I searched quite a while for a verse that sparkled, but this one does much more than sparkle. It is speaking my language.
I choose the AV version because the word “sown” is true to the original and some of the other versions couldn’t embrace the word picture. Works for me though, being a man of the land.
For a few weeks we have been praying about the present challenges I am facing. Today we are going to look to the future. Seeds are sown with a view to the harvest.
In my opinion, the verse is not a parallelism but a sequence. The first phrase is causal. The second might be the effect.
The Hebrew does not have the word “and.” The second phrase could be connected to the first by the word “and” but it could also be connected by the word “therefore” which is where I am leaning.
Let’s dig into the second phrase. The word “upright” is not a derivative of the word righteous in the first phrase. Rather, it is a word that has as its primary meaning straight, level or correct. It is a construction term.
As I look at the juxtaposing of those two concepts – straight/level/correct and heart – it suggests to me someone who is walking in design. Their heart – especially emotions – is connected to the right thing. They love what they should love, rather than trying to love what the culture says they are supposed to love.
When our emotions are rooted in design, not duty, it is natural for joy and gladness to be the defining emotion of our life.
So let’s try weaving it all together now.
God invests in me by sowing light into my life today that will not be obvious until sometime in the future. When the light is manifest, I will see some aspects of my design that I hadn’t seen before, and my emotions will come into agreement with the new picture of who I am.
I think we can change the tense without doing violence to the concept of the verse. God can not only sow light as a seed today, to benefit my life in the future, but He could have sown light as a seed in the past, which could bear fruit for me today.
I have sensed for a few weeks that I was entering into a dramatically different season of my life. Therefore, I have been looking for clues about where the grace is in the new season. The huge unevenness of the Africa trip is yet another indication of the shifts taking place. Certain things are simply not being blessed like they were in the past because that season is over.
When I was at the YWAM base in Jinja, there was a parting gift from the team. The lady in charge of the gift giving protocol apologized several times for the wrapped gift, then gave it to me.
When I opened it that evening in my room, it was a book with a fancy cover and blank pages. God nudged me and said, “You need a new book for the new season. You will be recording a different kind of glory story.”
So the prayer for this week is that the light God sowed into my time line sometime in the past would shine brightly now during this transition, revealing to me the facets of my design I need to see.
The one thing I know is that the new season is about my walking more precisely in my design. It is not about meeting new needs (although there will be a shift there as well). It is about being more fully myself.
I am excited to discover what the light shines on about me that I have not known so far.
Copyright August 2014 by Arthur Burk
From Lyttleton, six hours and five minutes before we leave for the airport, headed home.
Not that anyone is keeping track of such details.