Lately, I’ve been thinking about the biblical phrase of “shine God’s light.” It is a term that is used repeatedly whether it be in the same church or different geographic locations. Just like many phrases we use now in days, it is a little difficult to understand what the phrase truly means. Within the Christian bubble, it is easier to know the lingo and slang because it is used very frequently, but what happens when somebody is new to church? I guarantee that the person is as lost as the one sheep Jesus spoke of in Luke 15:1-7.
“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
When I think about being the light in the midst of the darkness, I think of taking the term change (in the terms of conditions and life) and making it a verb. Many people speak of change and making the world a better place but how can they do so if all they are doing is speaking of it. As a Christian, there is an image of perfection that we are to strive for in the name of Jesus. Our life goal is to be like the only perfect human to walk the earth and in doing so, we aim to be the change not just in our lives but also in the lives of those around us.
The beautiful thing about light is that it completely overcomes all darkness and whoever walks in the light, will never walk in darkness.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
The bible describes Jesus (God) as being light.
“…God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.”
1 John 1:5
And light has this effect that it leaves everything around it completely vulnerable due to eliminating the possibility of being hidden (so yes ladies, light does show what you try to hide with makeup. . . True beauty!). When I think of the concept of light biblically, the thought that comes to mind is about horror movies. Specifically, the moment in movies when a person is trapped for quite a long time in a hidden location while desperate to get out of an area covered in complete darkness. What usually follows the scene is a line that is known pretty well, “follow the light.” So my response to this all is, yes, follow the light because the light is Jesus.
“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.”
In moments of fear, desperation, pain, isolation/loneliness, struggle or any other tough times… Follow the light! The light has always been there. Whether it was noticed or not, the light has always been there and present. We only failed to notice it because we were so distracted by the things in this world that we used to cave ourselves and shut out the light. Therefore since it has always been there, I urge you once again to follow the light! It is waiting for you to reach it in order for it to surround your life.
Now that we know a little bit of information on “light” and what or who it is, we have the ability to shine the light ourselves. Shining God’s light is simple. It means, being available for those in need. I understand that there are many people in our lives and it is hard to keep up with everyone while trying to be there for everyone, but through it all what you can offer is your availability for their lives.
If somebody tells you they need you, be there! Everyone in this world has a story to tell and a testimony waiting to be heard. Whether it is about struggles or victories, people want to speak of it and in some cases be forgiven for a couple of mistakes and decisions previously made. In order for someone to heal and move forward, it is beneficial for them to have an individual that will be there to listen to them. Be that person and let God’s light shine from within you and into their problems and most importantly into their lives. As you listen, you gain the ability to understand. As you understand, you obtain the knowledge on how to most effectively serve them. As you serve them, your light is shining while you are being present in their lives. Finally, as you shine God’s light, God becomes more evident in your life and in the lives of others.
Quotes to remember:
“If you want to shine like a sun, first burn like a sun.”
J. Abdul Kalam
“Let God’s promises shine on your problems.”
Corrie Ten Boom