For a long time I was puzzled as to why one of the trees in our backyard was growing at an angle. One day I was talking to our landscaper and asked him about it. He said, "It's growing at a slant because so many shrubs and other trees around it are crowding out the light. That tree is struggling to grow toward the light. If you prune away some of the bushes and branches, you'll open up space for the light to get to that tree, and it might straighten up and grow properly."
The apostle John wrote that Jesus Christ is the light of the world and that the darkness of this world cannot overcome it. Jesus says, "If you follow Me, you won't be stumbling through the darkness, for living light will flood your path" (John 8:12). Perhaps you're struggling to get through to the full light of Jesus. Maybe you've allowed too many things to crowd your life. Maybe busyness is crowding in, or perhaps some friends who don't share your values are blocking your light. They don't understand the importance of being in the house of God or the value of prayer and worship. But you keep letting them pull you away because they've been friends for a long time.
Some people don't realize that unforgiveness and anger can block our lives from being totally exposed to the light of God. When we don't forgive, God says, "How do you expect Me to forgive you? You can't even see Me to allow forgiveness to flow." And the Bible says, "Don't let the sun go down on your anger" (Ephesians 4:26), because when anger stays around too long, it creates a division in our life that covers us. The sun may come up in the morning, but the anger does not allow God's light to shine into our life.
Today I encourage you to start to prune your life of whatever it is that is stopping you from being fully exposed to God. You can prune some of the busyness from your life. You can root out the anger and bitterness and pull out the weeds of unforgiveness. Don't allow friends to stand in the way and keep you in a dark place, and don't let even good things keep you from spending time with God in His Word and prayer.
It's time to let the light shine in fully. Get rid of whatever is blocking the light and let God's presence shine on you and light your life. I want to challenge you to take ten minutes today, and tomorrow, and the next day to sit and be with God and read His Word. Don't let anything keep you from it!