Many thanks to Maria Morgan for being my guest blogger again today. I will always think of you - and the wisdom in this post - when I hear that children's song.
It was time. Time to bundle up, brave the chilly drizzle, and finish decorating our home for Christmas. I chided myself for waiting until the weather turned cold to finish this task. But at least I could check each strand of lights from the warmth of the house before heading outdoors.
I plugged in the first strand of Christmas lights. Nothing. I jiggled the cord. Still nothing. I unplugged the disabled lights and placed them in a pile to discard. The next strand wasn't much better. Half of the lights shone brightly, while the other half were unaffected by the electricity coursing through the cord. Hmmmm...No amount of jiggling helped the lights spring to life, either. Another strand of lights joined the discard pile.
When I was finished, I looked in disbelief at the two piles of lights I had created - those to keep, and those to discard. The pile to discard was twice as large as the pile to keep. How could that be? I was sure I'd used ALL of these lights last year. What happened between then and now? The strands of lights had obviously been manufactured to glow vibrantly. Yet these same lights that had once burned brightly, now refused to shine.
I thought of the children's song, "This Little Light of Mine." The familiar verses encourage me to: let my light shine, refuse to hide my light, protect my light from being blown out by the enemy, and shine my light till Jesus comes. Wow! The task of plugging in Christmas lights reminded me of a valuable truth: I was created by God to let my light shine, pointing others to Him. The book of Matthew spells it out clearly, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid...Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven," (Matthew 5:14,16).
When each believer allows his/her light to shine, the result is beautiful. Light illuminates the darkness and unbelievers see the Savior. Remember the half-lit strand of lights? They gave off a minimal amount of light. The same is true for the believer. When a Christian doesn't shine as he/she should, those who don't know the Savior remain in the dark. In order to make the biggest impact on the world, each Christian must do his/her part.
I have to admit, there are times when I'm a lot like the Christmas lights that refuse to shine. The days when I'm more interested in checking off that last thing on my 'to do' list, than giving a word of encouragement. The evenings I attend to my agenda, ignoring family time. The many chances I'm given to share the goodness of God, but I choose not to speak. All too familiar reminders of the lights that didn't do their job.
Amazingly, my Heavenly Father is gracious and doesn't discard me when I refuse to shine. He draws me to His side, revealing His unconditional love. Continuing to give me opportunities to shine for Him. As I humble myself and plug into the Source of Power, my light begins to shine brighter. I look for opportunities to tell others of my Savior. Earthly things fade into the background when I carry out what I was created to do: glorify my Lord.
Christmas is just a few days away. Is your light shining brightly? Plug into the One we celebrate this season, Jesus Christ, and know that your Heavenly Father will be glorified!
Prayer - Heavenly Father, thank You for the reminder that I was created to glorify You. Help me to stay connected to You that I might shine brightly, pointing others to the hope of eternal life in Your Son, Jesus Christ. It's in His name I pray, Amen.
*Maria Morgan is an inspirational/devotional writer. She is a contributor to Around About Cumming, and is currently working on a Fruit of the Spirit, devotional series. She resides in Georgia with her husband, daughter, two dogs and cat. Visit her website: http://www.mariaimorgan.blogspot.com/