The Gift of Illumination

Amy Clemens

Read: Ephesians 1:1521

Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you. (v. 18)

Illumination differs from light. Like a spotlight on a brick wall, God’s light may shine while our barriers keep it from penetrating and illuminating the darkest corners of our hearts. Light without illumination, and the walls, physical or metaphorical, that keep light out, can keep us from understanding the hope and purpose to which God has called us, says Paul.

As a child, I was taught that God was good, but I also experienced abuse. The two couldn’t coexist, and I, like most abused children, concluded I was flawed and perhaps unlovable. I built walls of perfectionism to keep others from seeing inside, but in the process lost the ability to let light in. It was only after those walls begin to crack and fall that I discovered God could work better through brokenness than hypervigilance. I began to see when God’s light filled my fragile, broken heart it was like treasure in clay pots (2 Corinthians 4), illuminating and healing the dark corners, then spilling out through the cracks for the sake of others. This is the hope God has given me. I don’t know what your hope is, but I know that God who has promised is faithful (Heb. 10:23); as faithful on the cusp of a new year as he has ever been.

—Amy Clemens

Giver of good gifts, in your kindness reach beyond our walls, illuminate the eyes of our hearts, and give us a future and a hope.