“This little light of mine, I’m gonna’ let it shine. This little light of mine I’m gonna’ let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shinnnneee”…but do we?
We have all heard the song, and practically grew up on the lyrics. It encouraged us to take our light and shine it everywhere we go and allow others to see the God in us – the light in us.
As kids being a light comes somewhat naturally. We fall down – we get back up smiling, laughing, and going about our day. We feel comfortable in the unique and wonderful way God made us. At a young age we are often very candid, optimistic, truthful…by some accounts sometimes too truthful. We shed light on the world as we see it, we ask questions, we clarify things and even enlighten some adults around us. As children we are bold, we are brave, we are bright!
However somewhere between childhood and adulting our light can get dim. Life happens, and maybe we don’t bounce back as fast. Doubt creeps in, and maybe we don’t feel as confident as we once did. Fear shows up, so maybe we are afraid to try again. We trade in our questions and clarifications for comfort zones. Life experiences may have taught us that being too bright is dangerous full of possibilities for rejection or failure. As we encounter more darkness, being a light can become more difficult. Below are 4 ways stay lit and keep shining even in the midst of darkness:
Find your light. There are time when we feel we may have lost our light - that extra spark that makes us unique, special, valuable. The main culprits that can dim our light are doubt and fear. They cause us to shrink and we find ourselves with less joy, laughter, hope, and confidence. However, the bible says, God calls us out of darkness into a marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
To find your light again, take inventory of where you are now and then ask yourself where is God calling you to next? How is your current situation preparing you for your future? If all things were possible (and they are) what would be the next chapter for you after this difficult season? Our trials and our triumphs are all connected, and if you let it your most painful seasons can point you towards your greatest purpose. Seek out how God is working in your life right now and providing understanding for your current situation and your future through reading your word, seeking out prayer partners, or reaching out to friends and family for support.
Be bold in declaring your light. The very first thing God declared was “let there be light (Genesis 1:3).” He then sent his son who declared he is the light of the world (John 8:12). Jesus declared that we too are to be lights in the world (Matthew 5:14).
Recognizing the source of our light gives us the power to go boldly into darkness with the truth that God is with us, and within us. Jesus encourages us in Matthew 5:14-15 not to hide our light. So being bold in using your gifts, operating in your purpose, encouraging others, being a light in darkness whether through your career, volunteering, or ministry is biblical.
Light the way for others. Light is by nature illuminating and clarifying. How can you take the ways God has blessed you and the things he has lovingly clarified for you and use that experience to help clear a path for someone else lost in darkness?
The first step – admitting we were once lost in darkness and glorifying how God brought clarification and peace to our situation. When God blesses us he also uses us to be a blessing to others. Being a light means being bold, and sometimes that means being transparent no matter what others may think because someone’s salvation could be tied to your testimony and obedience. In order to drive out darkness with our light we have to be just as recklessly loving and persistent as our Father.
Be persistent. Light is persistent. No matter what happened the day before each day we get new day light no matter how dark the previous night may have been or what storms may have rolled in. As Christians we must be a persistent light that shines through. “The light shines in darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:5).”
No matter how many trials we face we will never be overcome by darkness because we carry a light within us that never burns out, never gives up, never doubts, never fears – and certainly never leaves us alone.
Even as we find ourselves in situations where darkness seems imminent as his sheep we know his voice (John 10:27-28) - we find our light, declare our light, light the way for others, and we are persistent.