“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:4,5).”
This morning I am agitated and I can’t put my finger on why. But I think it has something to do with Dr. Pumpkin.
I saw Dr. Pumpkin perform surgery on Saturday night at a church event called “Light the Night”. This celebration gives children and adults an alternative to the seamier aspects of Halloween.
Dr. Pumpkin did his thing in a room at the church in front of an audience. His primary task was disengorging one of those orange gourds that bear his name.
Dr. Pumpkin removed its innards. As he took out the sloppy goo, he likened the operation to what God does with us when he deals with our sin.
But the good doctor didn’t stop with the removing the insides of the pumpkin. Once the pumpkin stood empty, he lit a fire inside it.
The analogy was clear. For God’s light to shine in us, He has to remove the sinful slop first.
My pastor followed up Dr. Pumpkin’s object lesson with a sermon the next morning. He relayed the same thoughts: through our prayers God cleans us up, and His Spirit gives us a new power we had never experienced before.
To exemplify prayer’s effectivness, the reverend mentioned a city in our state that had at one time been the murder capital of the country. The Christians in that city decided to pray, and they realized they were in a spiritual war.
After they began praying, there wasn’t a murder for 28 days. Then, according to my pastor, the Christians grew tired and discouraged and quit praying. The murders began anew.
Through prayer these believers saw the power of God. The movement of God in answer to prayer was so memorable, twenty five years later my pastor mentioned the event in a sermon.
I am sure that was no accident. The Psalmist wrote:
Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
the LORD is gracious and compassionate (Psalm 111:3,4).
As I face a new day and a new week, and this agitation, I realize I have a choice. I can remain troubled, or I can give my worries and sins to God.
Dr. Pumpkin was right. I think part of my excited spirit is that God is continuing His lifelong surgery on my sinfulness.
He is dealing with the sins of my youth. This should not be a surpise. Solomon wrote that God would do just that:
You who are young, be happy while you are young,
and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart
and whatever your eyes see,
but know that for all these things
God will bring you into judgment (Ecclesiastes 11:9).
But there is something else at work here. I am in the midst of a spiritual war. Satan and his minions are taking potshots at me every chance they get (Psalm 11:2).
Thus, with Dr. God performing surgery on me, and Satan shooting at me from the darkness, I am a mess this morning. But I don’t have to stay covered with goo, inside or out.
I have a choice. I can pray, or I can curse. I can live with integrity and righteousness today, or I can move and shake and sin.
I think I’d rather have Jesus light my night and remove the agitation.