“Shine, make ’em wonder what ya got….”
Those seven words simply landed kersplat on my morning!
I’m in a short season of serving as a taxi driver for my two oldest, who both find themselves with car issues.
Driving; sipping my coffee; minding my business; Air1 Radio filling the waves, and there it is—
I began to sing along to this 2000 hit song by the Newsboys, and the message landed heavy.
When darkness feels overwhelming- shine!
When they don’t want to hear truth- shine!
When the intent is to return evil for good- shine!
When they say you’re crazy- shine!
When they speak lies- shine!
When they choose their pit of darkness- shine!
“The Light shines on the darkness, and the darkness cannot extinguish it.”
– John 1:5 ESV
We know the darkness that surrounds us.
Last week, while trying to watch a family show on Hulu, a sudden preview came on for an inappropriate movie being released, and my anger boiled.
I haven’t been able to scroll though anything on social media this week, without the images of orange-clad men, refusing to deny Christ, being led down the beach to their deaths, and my stomach heaves at the sight.
Often, the darkness is closer to where we live. I don’t need to make a list of all the turmoil, grief, illness, abuse, and crisis that makes up our days.
The dark…it feels oppressing…inescapable. The despair can overtake a person, when we ask, “Is this is all I get?” or “Is this what it’s come to?” …and no one answers back.
I’ve lived right there.
My pit-dwelling days were dark and deep, and hope was elusive. I remember listening to life being lived all around me, and thinking that the dark was my destiny. It must be the place I was meant to live out my life, and so I made depression my duty, and the pit was my dwelling.
Year after year. January. February. March…. dark days, months, years, interspersed with a few sunny days, here and there, and then back into the dark. Cycling on repeat.
I would grab hold of as much sunshine as I could, to try to sustain me for the long road ahead, but there was never enough to last. Never enough. I justified and victimized myself into believing that no one, including God, could help me out. I saw every good thing He gave, as a gift to someone else- but never for me.
(Image courtesy of Pixabay)
Coming out of the darkness was excruciating! When you’ve lived in a deep pit for that long, coming out into the bright light is painful. I felt so tempted on a daily basis, to turn around and run head-long back to my familiar pit. The pain it took to extend my hand for help, while excruciating, was life-saving for me. Everything had to change, or I wouldn’t survive.
It was a process. It was a miracle.
No matter if the darkness around us is evil or oppression, it is maintained by the Roaring Lion: who seeks to keep us isolated and alone. He wants to keep us bound and gagged in the dark. He prowls and schemes against us to, to overtake us, and consume.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
-1 Peter 5:8 ESV
Yet dear one, we have hope. We always hope!
“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the Light of the World. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the Light that leads to Life.”
-John 8:12 NLT
Light provides warmth…..fire.
Light exposes truth…..spotlight.
Light causes growth…..furnace.
Light illuminates a path….lantern.
Light warns of danger ahead….lighthouse.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
We are called to Shine His Light in the darkness…and for His Glory! Shine for the hearts gone cold, the wanderers who are lost, the deceived who have believed lie after lie, those suffering alone in the dark; those who feel small; the fearful—
“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.”
-2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT