The darkness that appears to be gathering on and hovering over the earth can tempt us to fear or lament, but if we are God’s children and He resides in us that is not what He is calling us to right now. The darkness is not to be our focus because we were made to shine.
If Jesus resides within us, then light resides in us. The gathering darkness should cause our light to be that much brighter as the dimmer manmade lights are overcome by shadow. We were called to be light and life and He would desire to call that forth in us in ways only He can.
Sometimes we forget that despite how important our words are, who we are because of Him and how He shines through us should eclipse anything else.
Jesus said we are to be salt and light. If we are that, then we will not be pulled off into tangents of the day, cultural dustups, popular arguments and causes. Those will only distract us from the culture that matters – His! It will also cause others to focus more on our words and views than the light that resides in us and the world has never needed that light more.
Scripture makes clear that as the day of His return comes closer, the world will become darker and things we would not have imagined will become the norm. Polarization will tear apart families, churches, neighborhoods, and nations, but that is when He most needs us, you and I, to be set apart and to shine.
Imagine yourself in a jewelry store. How often are the jewels and diamonds there displayed on black or dark blue velvet when the jeweler wants to encourage you to buy some of his most beautiful pieces? That is especially true if you are looking at loose diamonds to select for a special ring or necklace. That dark background makes the beauty and light in the diamonds shine more brightly
Kenny Luck wrote: “Brilliance requires darkness.”
I think Paul knew that as well. Consider his words in Philippians 2:14-16 (NIV):
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.”
The stars in the sky twinkle and gleam even though they are thousands and thousands of miles away because they are scattered across the dark night sky.
We are His workmanship. If the Lord has not yet returned, then we are to shine ever more brightly in the darkening world so that others might yet see and discover His grace, truth, and love before it is too late.
Cutting away the parts that detract from the beauty of His light within us so we can shine more beautifully is His work of sanctification. Diamonds are cut and shaped so the many facets of the gem can better reflect the light and fire from within the gem. And so it is with us…or should be.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NIV)
“And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,” 2 Peter 1:19 (ESV)
We have been given His light so much as Tolkien says in The Lord of the Rings:
“May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”
I wonder if when God looks upon the earth He hopes to see lights in each of us scattered around the globe much as we see the stars scattered across the sky.
You were made to shine.