“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 5:13-16
When I was a little girl, blackouts were common in our area. The sudden flick of darkness stirs a chorus of outcry from the entire neighborhood. Me and my brother would bolt out of our comfortable positions, groping in the dark, and cry for mama’s name.
Leaping off her seat to place the emergency light in the middle of the house, she would calm us down by switching it on. Like insects attracted to a burning lamp, we huddle around it, play games, make shapes out of shadows.
Unprepared neighbors would rush to the nearest sari-sari store — a neighborhood convenience store that sells a sundry of household items — to buy candles. Children enjoyed unbidden permission to go outside and play under the bright moonlight.
Nobody knows when the lights will be back. Sometimes, it takes the next day. On better days, only for 30 minutes. But the longer it’s drawn out, the more miserable everybody feels.
Our family of three sleeps in a double-sized bed, breathing stuffy air mixed with the acrid stench of human urine outdoors, sweaty bodies poking each other. It’s almost impossible to sleep. Surprisingly, you get weary fighting off the obnoxious elements and succumb to sleep.
That’s a picture of man’s condition after Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the garden of Eden, living in the stench of sin, in darkness. When the fall happened, the light of our spirits blackout. We are cut off from God. With the spirit dead, our physical bodies follow suit, not instantaneously but a gradual decay marred by sickness, disease, eventually death.
But thanks be to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, darkness doesn’t have to be our lot forever. There is a way out. Jesus said in John 8:12,
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
When you accept Jesus in your heart, His light will live inside you. Reborn into a new creation, your spirit will be raised to life, carriers of Christ, a lit torch in a dark and decaying world.
But before we could influence our world for good, God’s light will first change us, dispelling the shadows of the old self. Eventually, our actions and deeds, conformed to the principles of His Word, will be evident for all to see. They can’t help but acknowledge the reality of God.
Unfortunately, being a light bearer doesn’t always translate to others glorifying God. Many will get offended. Oh yes, they will. They lived well-adjusted lifestyles under pitch black that stepping out to glaring brightness hurts their eyes.
Some will discredit you, cause pain, at times death — physical or psychological — only for you to shut up and shut down. But a lamp, minus it’s intended ability to bear light, is pointless. Regardless, let Christ shine!
As our world grows dimmer and dimmer, the light inside us also dazzles brighter and brighter. A little lantern in the midst of a dark room, exposing the shades in people’s hearts. This is not of our own doing, but a work of God.
Will you make yourself an available vessel for God?