Saturday, January 21

Learning to be the LIGHT

Yes. That is the title of a song. It's the title of a great song! I'm loving the tune of this song AND the words. But, I also feel like THAT is what I am doing these days. Learning to be the Light.

Over the past 4 months, I've done a little study on the word "light" in the Bible. Actually, I was looking at it (light) opposed to darkness. Darkness is how I look at the hiding, secrecy and sin that invaded our family. So, "light", was the answer to that darkness, and I wanted to find examples of how it was used in the Bible.

From the very first use of light, the concept spoke volumes to me. In the beginning, God created the light. There was darkness... nothingness... absence of light. Then, at just the right moment, God determined that the time was right to introduce the light. Light that would TAKE OVER the darkness. Now, we weren't living in that kind of darkness in our family. Our darkness came in the form of bondage and sin. But, the light came nonetheless. I've thanked Him repeatedly that He determined that the time had come for His light to overcome our darkness.

Recently, though, I've begun to really think about what it means to BE the light. What exactly does it mean to BE light that dispels darkness and draws others to the true LIGHT? Is there something specific we can do? Are there certain words that we need to say?

Isn't it interesting that we are call to be exactly what Christ called Himself.

"I am the Light of the world." John 8:12

"You are the light of the world." Matthew 5:14

Wow. That's huge to me. I've certainly come in contact with people over the years that have been what I would call "light". They glow! A couple of years ago I was watching a television show that is not a Christian show. Well, I'll just say it... Gray's Anatomy. Judge me if you will, but I still watch it. Anyway, there is an actress on that show that I watched and just knew that she was a believer. There was something about her that was just DIFFERENT. I later read an article where this actress told her story of coming to know Christ. She had been dealt a tough start to life. She had moved to California and married a rough kind of guy. They made all sorts of bad choices in lifestyle, but eventually came face to face with God. He changed their lives. And, although she was just reading lines on a television show, I could see that she was different! Man. I want to be THAT kind of different!

On the other hand, I know people that are constantly delivering a message that is Biblical. These people can recite scripture for every situation. However, somewhere in the delivery, I am completely turned off. I wouldn't consider them light at all. In fact, sometimes I think I'd rather run into hiding just to get away from that presence. It's overbearing and prideful. And, I DO NOT want to be THAT kind of different.

We are living in a world that so desperately needs the Light. Yet, I'm afraid that sometimes WE (believers) who are called to be the light aren't being the light at all. There's a disconnect somewhere between what we SAY and how we ACT. I KNOW that if I could allow others to SEE what God has done for me and what He wants to do for them, they would run without hesitation into that Light.  

So what's the key? How do we "glow" in such a way that others are drawn to us and want to know what makes us different? I hope you aren't thinking that I'm going to end this post with a great answer. I'm not. Well, I can't, because I'm still learning to be this light.

But, earlier this week, a friend sent me an article by Charles Swindoll that was perfect for my questions. Here is a portion of the message that ministered to me...

"Those in the light are a weird phenomenon for those in darkness. And, that is exactly as Jesus planned it.

Think of some distinctive characteristics of light. Light is silent. No noise, no big splash, no banners -- light simply shines.

Light gives direction. No words, no sermon. Jesus says that others "see" a Christian's actions; He says nothing about non-believers 'hearing' what a believer says.

Light attracts attention. You don't have to ask people to look at you when you turn on a light in a dark room. It happens automatically.

At first they may hate the light, but don't worry. They are still attracted to it. Let it shine! Don't attempt to show off how bright and sparkling you are; just shine!

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance."

O.K., so I don't have to be bright and sparkling. Well, that's a relief! Because, bright and sparkling isn't something I've ever been OR aspired to be.

And, apparently, we don't even have to have it all together. Sometimes our problems and our trials make the light that we carry even brighter than before. Shew. That's another relief!

I want my life to be lived in such a way that words aren't really necessary. I'd like to be so real that my life speaks of the Light that is guiding me. Others may not know the Source, but maybe they'd see enough light to want to know where it comes from. I know that we live in a world where living for the things of Christ is not attractive. But, I do believe that people still crave peace, joy, security and love. Those qualities in a life are sure to attract an audience of people that either recognizes or seeks the God that provides them.

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put in under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

God, You know that I don't know how to do this life perfectly. But, I pray that I will cooperate with however You desire to be seen in me. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to participate in lifting You up so that YOU may draw all men unto Yourself. YOU are so worthy!

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