Have you ever seen a lightning bug during the day? Yeah, me neither. Things that give off light typically go unnoticed during the day. If you turned on a lamp in a room with an abundance of windows on a sunny day, you probably wouldn’t notice it was even on. They normally go unnoticed unless they grab our attention in other ways. Maybe the lightning bug landed on your hand, and forced your eyes to take notice of its color, or shape of it’s wings. Maybe the lamp was unique, wrapped in gold, or had a beautiful and attractive shade. Although it’s light is its purpose, its body was receiving the attention, for now. On the other hand, the cicada doesn’t shine. Its iridescent green body reflects the light around it. Giving off beautiful color and markings as it borrows the light surrounding it. And in the summer, it’s screams for a mate draws attention from anything with ears. If it weren’t for its screaming, we would never know it was there, unless we went looking.
We, as people, can be like this; in some way or another. Every day – whether by the sun, or artificial light – we are seen to everyone around us. But do we shine? Do we reflect? I guess that depends on what we are wrapped in. Our clothes, jewelry, the makeup that we have on, our hair, or our screaming, can attract attention. But do we shine? Do we manifest, reflect, or give off light? Well, no. If the sun were not out, and the moon and stars were hidden behind heavy clouds, we cannot be seen. We cannot shine. Only by the natural, or artificial light around us, are we noticed. We are not made to manifest and give off our own light. We don’t even reflect light, like a mirror, or the cicada.
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6
As I passed our hall bathroom mirror early this morning, from the corner of my eye, I saw the silhouette of my body. I stopped
and took notice. I couldn’t see any part of me, only the dim light from behind. I was dark, yet almost everything around me was reflecting what little light was coming through the windows. The sun hadn’t made its appearance above the horizon. And I thought, “I am dark”. I think I was stunned for a moment. Nothing I had on, and not any part of me reflected any light. If I want and demand to be seen, I have to turn on light, or stand somewhere where light is shining. It was at that moment, in what seemed a simple and obvious fact, took on a new and more powerful meaning. “When the light goes on, I am seen.” So, what do I want to look like?
This simple truth and question hit me hard. I headed upstairs to pray, and began to ask God to expose the answer to my question. Am I more fixated on my appearance, my face and hair? Or am I working with God, and in my relationship with Christ, to shine His light from within? I don’t want the lights to come on and others to see darkness. I don’t want to shine worldly things, ideas, and opinions. I don’t want to shine a selfishness that doesn’t bless, or give in return. I want to shine Him, and only Him. That is what I want!
Lord, shine Your light on me. Expose, heal, transform, and deliver me from this world. I am dark. But with You, I can see! With You, I can shine Your light from within. May You be glorified.
“Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.” Psalm 80:19