Sometimes the Lord speaks to the heart subtly and you have to lean way in to hear what He’s saying. Other times, He pretty much yells it from the lips of others.
Can I get an amen?
This weekend we took our final trip as parents of a cross country runner clear to the top of our state. My son was running in his last race and we were headed to whatever end of the earth we needed to in order to be there. When your baby child is a high school senior, you don’t want to miss a thing. The drive to the race venue took about four hours each way, lots of time to talk to whomever you’re traveling with. My husband and I took the opportunity to have conversations about our kids, the weather, family, holidays, and he loves to tell me a good story about some of the captains he travels with. He is an airline pilot, a first officer to be exact. He has some great stories of flying and crazy happenings at the airport.
If you’ve ever flown, you might be in one of his stories, who knows?
Well, on the way home we began to talk about spiritual things. Our love of the Lord and how we hope and pray our children will share our faith, our church family, different Bible studies and what we feel the Lord is doing in our lives right now. I shared with him that lately the Lord has been dealing with my heart about being a “light” in my every day, very average unglamorous life.
This journey of light started right after my mom passed and a dear friend encouraged me to read the books of I, II and III John in the New testament. For reasons I still can’t explain, I began to underline the word “light” every time I saw it in those small books of the Bible. I guess I understood in my heart, even though I hadn’t fully grasped it with my mind, that our lives are always to be light. As a matter of fact, they ARE light if we have Jesus in our hearts whether we are trying to be or not, because HE is the light.
And He always shines.
Recently I haven’t felt much like shining. I think my light has been barely flickering by any definition. I’m tired, still dealing with loss and change and honestly, I would love to hide from my reality for a while.
In the course of our conversation, I was expressing to my husband how I wish I felt stronger and how I wished I handled things better and on and on… He was not quick to respond, but finally said, “You know, we really are supposed to be mirrors. We should just reflect the character of Jesus to those around us.” I agreed and our conversation continued. But, the idea of being a mirror did not leave my mind. It lingered, and I carried it in my heart to Sunday morning church the next day.
I should’ve known the Lord was up to something.
Well, we sang our hymns, took up the offering and encouraged everyone to stay for the potluck dinner that was immediately following the morning worship. Then we turned in our bibles to the book of Ephesians and read from chapter 5 verses 1-17. I encourage you to read this passage for yourself, it is so rich. What I noticed AGAIN was the mention of light. Being a light.
“What are you trying to tell me, Lord?” was the cry of my heart.
As the pastor’s words about love and light pierced my heart, the analogy he used to help us understand how important it is to let our light shine included, you guessed it, mirrors. It had something to do with needing more light in early days to perform a surgery and how mirrors were used to REFLECT the candle light and illuminate the whole room. The surgery was a success because the light was bright enough, thanks to the mirrors.
I’m pretty sure my mouth was hanging open.
I get it, Lord, I’m hard headed and you have to repeat yourself, but I’m starting to get it. We are to reflect YOUR light in this dark world or dark situation or the feelings of darkness, whatever it is we are facing. Our lives are not our own, they are meant to be lived to the glory of God and therefore, to be light to those around us. Not perfect, or flawless or fake or pretentious, but vessels; vessels of light.
The light of Jesus, our Savior.
I love that we are heading into the Christmas season, the season where the light of the world came in human form. You can bet I will be listening closely for His voice and watching for His light.
And I think I’ll do all this watching and listening while sipping on a cup of peppermint mocha piled high with whip cream as Christmas lights dance in my mind’s eye.
Ah, that sounds perfect.
Father, My need for you is great; I don’t ever try to pretend otherwise. Help me to be a willing vessel of light in my small part of the world. I have learned that when I feel the least “shiny” my light is usually shining the brightest. Fill my heart with gladness and let my joy be contagious. And when I am sad and feeling low, let your light shine through the broken places in my soul. You tell me in your word that if I let my light shine before others, they will praise you. (Matthew 5:16) I long to be used in a way that brings others to you. Fill my heart with a deeper love and let your light be evident to all. You deserve all glory today and always. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
Scripture: Ephesians 5:8-14
“For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.
Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said,
‘Awake, O sleeper,
rise up from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.’”