Years ago, my husband and I went to lead a retreat in Canada. We had driven what felt like all day and night and after more delays than we could count, finally made it to the house of the family that was hosting us about 11 that night. We were exhausted and were looking forward to a good night’s sleep because the retreat started bright and early the next morning. When I shut the lights out in the room, I saw something and just re-energized me. I immediately turned the light back on and shut it off again. I went on to do it again, and again, but after the third or fourth time, my husband asked me what was wrong. I was in shock that he had to ask- I mean couldn’t he see it? It was so clear to me. The ceiling was covered with tons of glow in the dark planet and star stickers. Every time I shut the lights; the whole ceiling would light up. When I turned on the lights the stickers while still visible did not stand out.
My husband thought I had lost my mind and asked me to just turn off the lights and stop playing around. However as most of you know when the Holy Spirit makes a revelation you just feel so alive. Once Jose realized that I was not just going to go to sleep- he asked me what the big deal was. “We are like those stickers”, I said (at this point Jose thought I had really lost it :D). We are like those glow in the dark stickers I insisted. We go before the presence of God and absorb His light. We are not called to shine in His presence, His light is enough- we are called to absorb. But when you place a Christian in the dark, when the world surrounds us with sin and stress we are called to glow. That is when we shine the light of God.
Matthew 5 14-16 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
I have thought of this story many times over the last 20 years and always remind myself that I am called to glow in the dark. I also think often of the magi. They traveled over 9000 miles following a star. One light was able to get a few people and their entourage to travel over 9000 miles, through deserts, mountains, rain, heat and many obstacles. This one light was able to get these men to give up all they knew and travel for over 2 ½ years (thank you google). I believe that it was the fact that the star was steady, consistent, always there that warranted the commitment of these men. What would have happened if one night the star just failed to shine? What would happen if it shined only when it felt like it? I believe the Magi would have returned home.
We are like the star that the magi followed leading them to Christ. We too must shine in the darkness and lead others to Christ. It is in times of darkness and despair that a true Christian shines. Everytime you shine God’s light- you lead someone to God. I imagine that when we get to heaven, we will have a great many people who will come to us and thank us for allowing our light to shine and lead them to Christ. I know that we will be surprised at some of the people – not even realizing that you had an impact in their lives. Let us be consistent in filling ourselves with the light of Christ and be bold in sharing it. After all, the light is not meant to be hidden but proudly displayed so that all who see it can be drawn to the Father.
When Jesus said, “you are the light of the world” He meant it. This light is meant to shine consistently regardless of what is happening around us. I truly believe that now more than any other time in history we need to shine bright. May the grace of God bless and keep you.