A Chainsaw Opportunity

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”  2 Corinthians 4:6 NIV



One of my favorite new “reality” shows is about a family who has homesteaded in Alaska.  Three generations have established their roots there.  Their existence is all about sustenance—hunting, farming, and fishing.  That’s it.  They don’t live for going to the movies on the weekends, or saving for a vacation, or getting up every morning to “go to work.” They live…to live.


I love this show because of the ruggedness of it all. The simplicity, the back to nature, and the living without the daily grind.  It seems so exciting and so doable…until…I have to do something like roll the trashcans to the street, or turn on the automatic dishwasher, or warm up soup in the microwave.  Then MY reality hits and the comforts of this land sure seem a lot sweeter!  I think I’ll stick to my meats and fish pre-wrapped in cellophane from the grocery store and just watch them once a week.


But the other day, we were getting caught up on older shows that had been recorded.  One of those episodes caught my attention.


An elder son needed to do repairs on a winter hunting cabin, deeper in the woods, before the harsh winter arrived.  Once there, he decided to do a little remodeling on the cabin. He spoke of how dark it was inside and how he always wanted a window.  He knew that the cabin would only receive about three hours of sunlight in the winter, but it was far better than the darkness that always occupied the space.  So he grabbed a chainsaw and carved out a hole for a window. The glass would come later.


I had a God moment watching that episode.


I connected with windows. I connected with the story.


alas wind_edited-1

photo by Renae Bowman (thanks S.S.)


I thought about how that hunting cabin had the sun shining on it every single day–window or not.  Every day, rays of sunlight beat down on the outside walls, just begging to get in to provide light and warmth.  Each day though, it was impenetrable through the heavy logs sealed up against the elements.  The cabin was built to keep the elements out.  It was doing its job.  And everyday the light showed up and did its job. But the two never connected. It wasn’t until the owner made the decision for an opening, for the light to become a guest inside.


Have you been there with God?


Have you been those cabin walls?


Have you been missing the light trying to get in?


John 8:21 says, “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”


I think it is clear what Jesus lays out there. He is the Light. He is the Life.  But the operative words we need to remember are…whoever follows me.


Wherever you are in this faith, I think the story applies.  If no window has ever been cut in your life, it is needed. The opening needs to be made.  And what about if the first window is already there in your life and the Light just doesn’t seem to be coming in?  Could it be time for another window?


I don’t know about you, but I go in and out of windowless days.  I wonder where God is at times of trouble and heartaches, but then realize I’ve covered the openings–I’ve sealed myself off against the elements, forgetting the Light source will brighten the darkness.  Seems I tend to make my own cabin and then can’t understand why I feel closed in.


I have to go back to the man in the show and the ending to understand the decision. He spoke how the light will provide brightness where he will work and live.  He realized the carving of the hole from the wall will have a greater benefit than leaving it intact. Hmmm?


May I encourage you to grab your chainsaw today.  Right now, whether for the first time or if you need a renewed opening. Wherever you are while reading this…at your job, on your couch, in your kitchen–make the decision to carve the opening instead of leaving up the walls. It’s simple.   Jesus, I don’t want the darkness anymore.  I want your Light to invade my life, so I can see and live.  Please come in. I am willing. 

(And I would love for you to let me pray for you if you made that opening.  Send me a message!)


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