Seasoned by the Son
I may not be from Missouri, but I do need to see evidence before I believe some things. Take for instance a couple sage friends told me that sunlight will actually darkened wood grain instead of fading it. I thought to myself, "Um, no." My understanding of the sun and its effect on items is just the opposite. Degraded materials, faded colors, and a general stressed appearance are often what I see.
Whoa there preacher. You need to listen to those sage friends of yours.
Our church was recently the beneficiary of hand crafted cherry furniture. I suppose the furniture is 20+ years old. As I walked by the items the other day, I noticed something out of place. Remember, my mind believes that sunlight will fade items and make them look worn out. What was out of place was that part of the cabinet I thought should have been faded was actually deeper and richer in its color and the wood grain actually popped! The other part of the piece that I assumed would be darker was a bit lighter and didn't really have much appeal.
(Left side was exposed to the sun; the right side was covered for 20+ years.)
Not sure how I could have missed it but right there it was. Then I thought of all the advice we get about avoiding sunshine and not getting sunburned or over-tanned. We do tend to get darker because of the sunlight. Parts of our body that are covered usually stay lighter in pigmentation.
All this to consider what we (Believers in Jesus) look like to the subset of humanity who either doesn't want to know about Jesus or doesn't want to believe He is real. We, who have the Son shining on us, must surely look differently than those who avoid the Son. If like the cherry cabinet, we are having our countenance enhanced and beautified, then allowing Jesus to shine on us is essential.
When I am having a tough day, it is likely you'll find me in Psalm 80. In several places, Asaph's request rings forth, "Restore us, O God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved." (Psalm 80:3, 7, 19). He understood the importance of allowing the face of holiness to pour out healing and restoration.
How are you looking today? Go ahead, stop reading this and walk to the nearest mirror and take a good hard look. Are you glowing because the light of the Son is shining upon you? Is there evidence of a new richness because Jesus Christ shines on you? Or, do you see faded glory and the godly sparkle that should be emanating from you has long since extinguished?
It is never too late to seek the restorative nature of the Son. Allow Him to lift your proverbial wood grain and make it pop; and allow Him to deepen and enrich your countenance. The psalmist David must have looked in his mirror regularly. He was always wanting and needing the glory of God to be poured out on he and his family.
"But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me. Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love. Let me not be put to shame, O LORD..." (Psalm 31:14-17a, NIV)
We can do the same. Seek the Son and let His light shine on us and see if our lives don't gain value.