“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.—Matthew 5:14-16 NIV
My cousins and I looked forward to family gatherings. We didn’t care the reason for the reunion as long as we were able to run around, free like the wind. We girls giggled and galloped, hair tangled and snarled, as it trailed behind us mid-air. The boys, destined to find dirt, always ended the day looking a bit disheveled.
Country living often equated to cavorting among cousins.
One of our favorite pastimes happened as dusk hovered over the horizon. Many a summer evening, we carried empty jars in the hope of capturing fireflies. Their amber blink mesmerized us as they winked our way. It was their light that attracted us as the fireflies flickered in the sky like some sort of Morse code. Blink. Blink. Blink, Blink. Blink — Blink — Blink.
The source of their light was a mystery to us. The little community of blinking bugs lit up the night and always excited us with their arrival. From our child-like vantage point, the bugs illuminated a glow far better than any flashlight.
We’d proudly collect our specimens, as we tucked them safely into their glass condominiums. Each of us would show off our lightning bug collection to our parents. We’d display the jar-full of bugs whose light danced, much to our delight.
Eventually, we would release the bugs back into the night sky. Perhaps their light would dance for us at dusk another day.
What would have happened if our fireflies wouldn’t have been released back into summer’s humid night sky? What if we would have held them captive in their luxurious glass condominiums?
The fireflies’ light would have dampened and died. Snuffed out. No longer able to capture a child’s attention.
If we keep the light within us locked up, it remains hidden and unshared. We’re unable to dispel the darkness if we’ve got our light hidden away in our homes. If no one is able to see Christ’s light in us, does it really exist? Does our faith die with us rather than being passed on like a well-lit torch?
Often times, seeing is believing. People need to see the brilliance of our Savior through the light He reflects in and through us.
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you.—Isaiah 60:1-2 NIV
Just like as children we were attracted to the light of the fireflies, people bumbling about in the darkness are attracted to Christ’s light in you. It burns brightly and creates a warm glow that others want to be near, even when they don’t understand why.
There’s no need to hide it. Proudly display His light within you.
While I didn’t know the source of a firefly’s light as a little girl, we know the source of our eternal light. The beauty and goodness that emanates from within us, blinks forth for others to see, and comes from the power of the Holy Spirit. His presence has a way of magnetizing others to us and what we possess—a gift of light, Christ’s radiance.
Our light has the power to dispel darkness. We can be difference-makers to those stranded in the dark. We can be the ray of hope Christ uses to shine brilliantly as His light pierces the pit of hell.
When someone is stranded, in need of rescue, they signal for help.
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Will we help? Will we let our light shine forth, so others have hope in their hearts?
I hope so!
We all know what it means: the universal code for help. Perhaps, it’s also one of the most effective ways we can help.
Shine On Sister!
When we release Christ’s light in us, the pitch black night of someone else’s tortured soul is penetrated. We get to help unlock the door for someone’s eternal future, where her light will never fade.
Note: This series of devotionals reflect on concepts and truths presented in Undaunted, a Bible study by Christine Caine. The devotionals are written by Deb Hoang, Erin Nicole Thompson and Tracy Stella, as noted.