No matter where we turn, these days we can easily feel overwhelmed with news of one disaster after another… hurricanes, wildfires, tsunamis, earthquakes. The images of total devastation, despair and dejection, might leave us feeling depressed and hopeless – wondering what we can do, amid all the darkness. One suggestion? Shine a light!
At first, this might seem too simplistic. But, just go with me here for a minute. As the stories and photos literally overtake our social feeds and media broadcasts, it’s almost incomprehensible to imagine living under those conditions. Homes destroyed, families grieving, people living without food or water or power. And, during a VERY brief power outage at my home this past week, that’s when reality hit me… HARD!
“This Little Light Of Mine…”
My pets and I just wandered around the house, feeling completely helpless, unsure how to carry on or what to do. Fortunately, this did not occur in the dead of night, so we could see a little. After calling the power company, the first thing priority was to gather up my candles and start bringing illumination – one wick at a time – to each room. Then, from somewhere out of my childhood, a tune suddenly popped into my head: “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…” And YOU know how those musical “earworms” can be!
For the rest of the day, I found myself just humming this little song. But, once the electric company restored my power, the thought of those people facing days, weeks or MONTHS in the dark, haunted me. Honestly, I couldn’t function without electricity – no power for my laptop or office peripherals, a quickly-dying phone battery threatening to cut my lifeline to the world, and, most crucial to my work, no power equals no internet access! Yet, there THEY are. Those disaster survivors. In the dark. Afraid. Wondering if anyone will ever shine a light into their lives again.
Put this all together, the disasters… that childhood tune… those people living in despair, and it “dawned” on me, I can be the light! Look, we know that none of us is a stranger to “bad times.” It’s just part of life. But our particular brand of “bad times” may not compare to what a lot of people across our country – and world – face right now. Or, maybe it HAS for you! Sadly, we have little or no control over what ills may befall us. However, we CAN control our reactions and responses to those “bad times.” Which brings to mind the ultimate “bad times”… the biblical story of Job. Now THAT guy endured a LOT! There’s a reason we refer to the “patience of Job.”
A Pinpoint Of Hope In The Darkness
This man lost EVERYTHING. His home, his family, his business, his reputation, his money, his health… GONE! Yet, his response? “When His lamp shone over my head, And by His light I walked through darkness…” (Job 29:3) See, Job made the conscious decision to cling to his faith. He FOUND a “light” in the darkness of his life. Sometimes, when no light exists, we have to create our OWN light! Thankfully, we don’t have to look too far: “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” (Psalms 119:105) But it’s not JUST about illuminating our own little corner of the world. We need to shine our light far and wide, share OUR “light” with others!
Yep, “I’m gonna let it shine!” (I know, NOW you’ve got that “earworm!”) While we may not personally be able to help EVERY single person suffering right now, we CAN use our little lights to begin piercing through their darkness and shine hope into their lives. It can be something as simple as purposely remembering them in our prayers. Certainly, donations – of any amount – will help. Volunteering your time and talents, can make a world of difference in the life of someone floundering in the darkness of despair. Even sharing your faith with someone else, can start a chain-reaction of blessings for others.
That’s the coolest thing of all about “light!” It can shine on, INFINITELY… it can go AROUND obstacles… it can HEAL… it can MELT the strongest barriers. Bet you never thought about all that power – shining right inside of YOU! And, our personal “light,” can also INSPIRE others. “O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me…” (Psalms 43:3) Never discount the power of just one light, to brighten the world! So as the news continues to bring more darkness, resolve to be that pinpoint of light in your world. And, when you join those other “lights” on our social media pages – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube – imagine the radiance we can spread together in our world TODAY!