“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. "- Matthew 5:14-16
When I was younger- way younger- it wasn't hard for me to tell my friends and people I knew about Jesus. It's like I didn't have a filter telling me to "stop talking" or to let me know when it was inappropriate to speak; I just knew what I knew about God, and I shared it.
I shared it even when I switched from a Christian Preschool to a non-religious private school. And I learned soon after the switch that it wasn't always appropriate to share about my faith. It's something my family and I laugh about now, but I think about it today and I wonder...
I was at the grocery store a few weeks ago and an incident moved me so significantly that I've been brought to tears multiple times since it happened. Something inside of me has been urging me to write a blog post about it- but I've been hesitant to do so. Why share personal insight and revelation from the Lord so publicly? I don't always want to share some of what is on my heart or revelations that are personal; I don't always want to be so public. I certainly didn't want to share this particular instance. And as I'm typing this out I still may not (right now, in this post at least!)
But, I think back to some of those days as an early child- where I would literally sing aloud about Jesus on the playground and I would tell stories about all kinds of things (Jesus, my faith, and even fictional stories just to tell them and describe something to an audience). I think about how God talks about shining our light, that comes from Him, on a hill for all to see. I think about the body of Christ- all parts moving together as one- nobody sharing the same DNA or exact job or assignment for the Kingdom, with each of us offering something new and unique out of how God has designed us (1 Corinthians 12).
I reflect on how I think and feel and sometimes know that God has called me to be someone who shares.
I know the temptation I face is to share and to not do as I share. To talk and to not act. If I do that then I know I'm mistaken in my claims to live out the task God has given me (James 2:14-26).
In spite of my fear that I'll share more than I act, I also think about disobeying God when I know He has called one of us to something. And if I do and I see and I feel and I know... and yet do not share the light I have- in the way God has specifically designed me to share- then I disobey. And I know from the story of Jonah that disobedience is a place of intense discomfort... it can be a lot like living in the belly of a whale.
Jonah's Prayer from inside the whale:
“When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.
Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’
And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land." (Jonah 2:7-10)
So, today I'm choosing to pursue obedience. To pursue action and to pursue sharing the gospel message of Christ, by sharing the light in the specific way God has asked me to do it. Here I am, writing this post!
I am urging each of you as God has urged me to discover your unique talents or desires. Discover the distinct ways God is asking you to serve and to shine His light up on a hill. What talents or desires do you think He's uniquely given you? What hills around you desperately need beacons of hope, and how can you let yourself be used by Him to light them? Each hill is different, and each hill has candles or logs or embers or trees that have a unique way of lighting. God knows all the hows and whens and wheres and whys. He even knows the buts and ifs. All He asks is for us to be obedient. All He desires is for you to say you will. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work."-1 Corinthians 12: 4-5
"'For I know the plans I have for you,'declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"-Jeremiah 29:11
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."-John 1:5