One thing I pray for my children is that they would be salt and light to those around them.
My heart’s desire is that others would see a difference in them – that somehow, in some dark moment, my kids would shine the light of Christ’s love into someone else’s life.
Light is something I think that we tend to take advantage of when we have it. But when we don’t, well, often we can be lost in the dark.
I remember once when my boys were small and we took them on a “night hike” offered by an area park. At nearly dusk, a small group of us set out with a seasoned guide.
My young boys each sported green plastic lanterns that made cricket sounds when the switch was turned on.
The hike leader pointed out some amazing things that I ...
would have missed had I taken the walk myself.
I remember that night learning to identify poison ivy, spotting whirligigs in the pond and practicing a pretty good impression of the great horned owl.
And when darkness began to descend on the park, we flicked on our flashlights and lanterns to help guide our way to further adventures with our amazing guide.
We saw a copperhead slither past, listened to our guide tell tales of hearing bobcats screaming in the night and in the end, sucked on the Wint-O-Green LifeSavers he passed out so we could see sparks fly when we bit into them.
But the most memorable part of that hike for me was the feeling of being in such absolute darkness.
It was only our flashlights and lanterns that kept us from being completely swallowed up by it. I remember walking with the group in our small bubble of light and looking behind me to see the darkness literally enclose us from behind.
It was the light that made all the difference for us that night.
A few weeks ago, our Sunday School teacher, Rich, highlighted different ways we can bring light into a person’s life. He brought up a variety of lights and their functions and figuratively explained the way that each could be used to shine the light of Jesus.
He told us that we could be beacons, spotlights and candles.
A beacon, he said, is “something you line up with,” a spotlight “illuminates a specific area,” and a candle “is used in a soft setting - a light that influences.”
Wow. I had never thought about the uses of different kinds of lights the way Rich explained that morning. And I especially liked his description of candlelight –maybe that’s why I favor soft light.
Each type of light is significant though.
Sarah Young in my “Jesus Calling” devotional highlighted the beacon recently: “You had a darkened mind before you sought Me wholeheartedly. I chose to pour My Light into you, so that you can be a beacon to others. There is no room for pride in this position. Your part is to reflect My Glory. I am the Lord!”
Once when my sons were older, they took me to an abandoned railroad tunnel. Trekking through, it was an amazing feeling to be in the middle of that tunnel with one dot of light on one end and one dot of light on the other.
It was so dark there in the center of that tunnel, a place that never saw any light except for what those passing through brought with them.
We traversed over the gravelly path avoiding pitfalls and completely depended on our light to bring us through.
Sounds just like life, doesn’t it?
Here are some Bible verses that'll help you on your journey:
Matthew 4:16 English Standard Version
16 the people dwelling in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
on them a light has dawned.”
John 8:12 Living Bible
12 Later, in one of his talks, Jesus said to the people, “I am the Light of the world. So if you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, for living light will flood your path.”
1 John 1:7 New International Version
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
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