shine

1:37am alerts you with a harsh thunder clap. Suddenly, the storm has stolen your peaceful dream away from you. You now lay wide awake, staring at the stucco ceiling above you that lights up every few minutes. They warned you about this one. “PLEASE USE CAUTION AND TAKE SHELTER AS NEEDED” the text read, not but five hours ago at the bottom of the television. They claimed it was going to be the worst one in eight years.

Rather than laying next to the flashing window, you slip out of your bed, throw your giant, grandmother-knit quilt around your shoulders and quietly sneak down to the basement. You shuffle your feet around while leaning to the left and right grabbing close counters and walls, in hopes of avoiding any type of collision. Surprisingly, you arrive at your destination without splitting your toes on any chair leg or corner.

You plop yourself down in a much loved bean bag you’ve had since you were nine and a half. You had saved up your allowance for three weeks and bought it brand new. It’s been a faithful cushion all of these years, and tonight it’s doing a superb job once again. You shine your light. It’s the little beam of hope that the storm will pass in no time.

The thunder continues to roar. The crashes are so powerful that they shake the walls around you. Your heart is pounding. As you continue to lay in the midst of what feels like the loudest moments of your night, you find the silencing comfort in resting in your beanbag. As you clench the thin handle on the side, you stare at the light; you stare at your little beam of hope.

Before you know it, each of your family members make their way downstairs. One by one, they all flip their flashlight switches. All at once, the darkness doesn’t seem as frightening anymore. The thunder doesn’t seem as loud. The lightning isn’t as haunting. And the storm quickly passes by.

When light is next to darkness, the light always wins.

Mark 12:28-31 //  “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Romans 13:8 // The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Matthew 5:14-16 // “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Are you ready for this light bulb to be lit? As I’m writing this, I’m praying that this affects you in the same way it affected me. This idea is incredible.

So for just a second, I want you to imagine this: imagine that the beanbag in the story is God. (I know, just bare with me.) And I want you to imagine that the storm is an attack from the enemy. And finally, imagine that the flashlight is the power you have within you.

God is our comfort zone. For some of us, we were nine and a half when we accepted Him into our hearts. Some were younger, some were older and others haven’t come to make that decision yet. The point is, we have all invited Him into our hearts (or God’s going to work a miracle and the ones who haven’t yet are going to!). We have experienced the warmth of His love, and the quilt of grace He lays over us. And the moment we drew Him closer to us, He birthed a bubble of light within us. As we’ve grown closer to our Father, the bubble of light grows larger and larger within us – tickling us on the inside.

Finally, because the bubble is so uncontainable, we can’t help but burst with light…I’m talking light rays EVERYWHERE. Because this is so contagious, others are easily addicted to this same light. It’s full of love and life and boldness, and it’s irresistible.

Unfortunately, the enemy (the storm) isn’t too fond of these billions of light bubbles. He can’t stand them. He likes things dark and stuck and rusty. Because of his sickness of wanting to keep things gloomy, he tries to pop your bubble with his finger. He points his finger at you, putting the attention on your insecurities, the areas where you feel like you fall short and feel insignificant. He does this in attempt to dim your light. He strives to hurt you. It’s easy for our bubbles to be dented from these his pointing finger. That’s why we have to unite with our other friends, our fellow light bubble buddies.  

We need to let our light shine before others. Not only to strengthen each other, but to lend a helping hand to those who don’t have the light within them; the ones who don’t know how to fight off the enemy’s storms. Love your neighbor, and shine your light in their lives.

Matthew 28:19-20 // “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

As we come to the end of this post, I need you to do me a favor. When you find yourself in the boxing ring with the enemy, knock him out with your inner lightsaber.

Let the bubbles of light shoot out of you like a volcano erupting after rumbling for ages, be as loud as the Pop Rocks exploding within your mouth, and be as infectious as the laugh of an infant finding entertainment in ripping paper.

Oh yes I did:

 

Go shine.

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