THE TAKE AWAY  



Glass and Light


By Kersley Fitzgerald




The GotQuestions offices sit in a building that has been called "designed for California." Three rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows; two of which actually rise to frame a loft eight feet above the normal ceiling, curving from the exterior wall to create a six-foot deep solarium. It is not an ideal design for Colorado. When ice melts off the roof above, it crashes into these curved windows in an explosion that causes even those in interior offices to jump. When it rains hard, there's nothing the gaskets between the glass and the metal frames can do to keep the water outside. And a few months ago, it appears someone backed into one of the windows with a trailer hitch, leaving a spider web of cracks.

But, man, do they let in light. And views of the tree where flocks of deer come to munch. And of the Thunderbirds and B-1s that zipped around the Air Force Academy during graduation. And bunnies that run around the parking lot, dodging cars like some real-world version of Frogger.

It occurs to me that we are sometimes like this wall of glass. In our desire to let others see the light of God, we forget that we are windows — not load-bearing foundations. It is Christ Who carries our heaviest burdens, not other people. We cannot be someone else's savior.

Windows do protect. The good ones keep out rain and cold and heat. If they are used properly. Those that take on more than they should crack and pull away from their frames. There is strength in glass, which we've come to appreciate when the ice crashes or the hail comes. But too much stress and the glass is left vulnerable. It cracks, and eventually breaks, protecting no one.

We can allow light into dark situations. We can protect to a degree. But we can't transform a person's heart any more than our windows can heal someone with the flu.

Galatians 6:1-2 says, "Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." So, there is a manner in which we are to bear the weight another carries. But then 2 Timothy 2:24-26 says that God's servant should correct the foolish with gentleness so "God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses from the snare of the devil, after being capture by him to do his will." And when the Jewish Christians finally realized Jesus' grace was available to Gentiles outside of the law, they "glorified God, saying, "Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life" (Acts 11:18).

We like to sit on the concept of repentance and stew a bit. It means to make a conscious judgment that God's way is right and ours is wrong and our entire paradigm is thus and forever changed. Our point of view by which we determine how we interact with the world is altered in some way.

But 2 Timothy 2:24-26 and Acts 11:18 point something out that isn't often covered: repentance is a gift from God. It is granted, not accepted. We can't even transform ourselves. We can only agree with the work the Holy Spirit does for us. And we can't make someone else change; we can only shine light to try to reveal their need.tweet

There are some guys in a high-reach outside our window, caulking. They are doing what they can to help the poor windows bear the burdens of ice, hail, and monsoon rains. Burdens that are often too great for the glass, even as thick as it is. But despite their weaknesses, our windows are great at letting in light.



Image: Courtesy MeLissa LeFleur



TagsBiblical-Salvation  | Biblical-Truth  | Christian-Life  | Personal-Relationships



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Published 6-9-2015