In the darkness, even in the shade outside, we could have picked through it all day long, and it wouldn't have mattered. The bugs were hidden deep in the sack, even inside the grains of rice where they couldn't be seen.
My friend Chelo came over just as we were making our discovery.
"We've got a problem." I sighed. "What a waste. Well, we'll have to get rid of it."
But Chelo laughed,
"When you said you had a problem, I was worried. I thought it was something serious, you know. This? Ha! This is no problem! This happens all the time! Just put it out in the sun!"
So we spread the rice out on the pans and set them in the hot Haitian sun. It was so bright it seemed to luminesce, and almost immediately we began to watch the bugs rise to the surface. They couldn't stay. They couldn't leap out of the light fast enough. They fled for their lives. We sifted the grains over and over, until there was nothing left but the rice, and I'm left with my lesson.
God has been driving a message home with me recently, and I wonder if you can follow this thread as it weaves from age-old scripture into this dance of life called Today.
In discipleship with my Haitian brothers, we decided to read through Proverbs, and this verse lit up when I came across it:
The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.
My family also has morning devotions. We meet as soon as we're all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and we dig through scripture together. The kids picked the book we're on now, which is 1 John. These are the verses that have been highlighted in my heart:
"This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin. " 1 John 1:5-7
"Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in Him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him." 1 John 2:8-11
Just like the rice, we can't claim to be something we aren't. We can't claim to have righteousness, yet in the light be revealed as infested. If we claim Jesus, yet we're blinded in darkness, what good are we?
Instead, wouldn't you rather be the first gleam of dawn? Fresh, new, Hope!
Wouldn't you rather be a bolt of sunlight pushing out into these hills? Don't you want to shine the light on the path to Jesus? Don't you want to burst forth as the bugs flee?
If it were left only to us and our infested minds one might think we're fit for the garbage heap. But God doesn't see us as finished.
His Boy can fix the problem. His Boy can transform you today.
Take your life and pour on the Son. Let the dark things find their rightful, scurried place and light up your world today.