While reading in John 1 this morning, I felt the Lord quicken my heart over verse 4:
In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
In particular, I felt the Holy Spirit settling over the words “life” and “light.” Strong’s concordance says life here (zoe) means, “of the absolute fullness of life; life real and genuine; a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, and blessed.” This is a different kind of life than the one used in Mark 3:4–“psyche”–which refers more to the mortal life of all things, the process that distinguishes between an elephant and a boulder.
We can be alive without being alive. Anyone whose eyes have flitted open on a gray November morning and half-prayed to a corner of the ceiling, “God, I can’t face another day” without expecting an answer knows this. It manifests in weak knees and thumping hearts when we’ve felt too heartsick to eat for a few days. It shows up when we avoid our friends for our televisions and fitfully daydream about inventing a switch hard-wired into our brains that would turn off all thoughts so we could force ourselves to sleep. It surfaces in a heavy, drugged feeling when we cannot seem to differentiate between dreams and reality.
Simply functioning from one day to another is not the life that is God. Jesus said in John 14:6 that He is the way, truth, and the life (zoe)–full, vigorous, beautiful life that transcends mere existence.
The word used for light (phos) in John 1:4 has many translations, but the one that I liked best was, “that which is exposed to the view of all, openly, publicly.” The beauty of Jesus’ life was for all to see. He did not hide His freedom with the Father; nor did He share it with only a select group. The people who walked in darkness saw a great light.
In His kindness, God was not content for us to live a life bound to striving. He came that we might have zoe and have it fully. He came that we might have Himself.
Today is the Jewish feast of Passover, and tomorrow marks the anniversary of Jesus’ death (He died on Wednesday, was in the ground three days, and rose again on the first day of the week). Only God could bring life out of death and use sacrifice to bring fullness for all. The life He gave transcends momentary emotions. There will always be heartaches, seasons in the valley, flights into the desert; but they are temporary. God glories in restoration, and when He comes to you, He brings with Him fullness of joy.
Father, I bless my friends to delight in Your fullness. You promised we would win if we did not lose heart. May we walk according to Hebrews 10:35-37 and Galatians 6:9, never giving up, never losing faith. May we have eyes opened to the “small” miracles that take place every day. May we never mistake the purpose of prayer as the right to tell You what to do. You are sovereign and Your ways are right. Give us the grace today to say, “not my will but Yours,” hands that rush to give, mouths opened wide to sing Your praises, and hearts that embrace love and reject offense. In Jesus’ beautiful name….