Jesus Light

 (I took this picture!!!)
I took this picture on a little photography trip, and my friend told me that in Chinese, these sunbeams are called "Jesus Light." I thought it was very appropriate! Last night at bible study, we were talking about who God is and different names for God. I asked my students why God has so many different names. Some websites list over 700!  We teased out the idea that God is everything to everyone. He has different names because he comes through for us in different ways and in different circumstances. Sometimes we need him to be our refuge or healer, other times we need the master and shepherd, and still other times we need the lover of our souls.
God has been doing a new work in my life in this past year, and it has been hard at times. But last night when I got home, a paper literally fell out of my bag and onto my lap. It was some verses our professor had given to us on the last day of class back in July. But they were exactly what I needed to see last night.

"The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the LORD tests hearts." Prov. 17:3
Oh Love Beyond Compare,
Thou art good when thou givest,
  when thou takest away,
  when the sun shines upon me,

  when the night gathers over me.

Thou has loved me before the foundation of the world,

  and in love didst redeem my soul;
Thou dost love me still, in spite of my hard heart, ingratitude, distrust.
Thy goodness has been with me during another year,
  leading me through a twisting wilderness, 
  in retreat, helping me to advance,
  when beaten back, making sure headway.
Thy goodness will be with me in the year ahead;
I hoist sail and draw up anchor,
With thee as the blessed Pilot of my future as of my past.
I bless thee that thou has veiled my eyes to the waters ahead.
If thou has appointed storms of tribulation, thou wilt be with me in them;
If I have to pass through tempests of persecution and temptation, 
   I shall not down;
If I am to die, I shall see thy face sooner;
If a painful end is to be my lot, grant me grace that my faith fail not;
If I am to be cast aside from the service I love, I can make no stipulation;
Only glorify thyself in me whether in comfort or trial,
  as a chosen vessel meet always for thy use. 
~The Valley of Vision