Some days it is only a flicker.
But even the smallest light will shine in the darkness.
Being human means that I don’t always feel like living up to the world’s definition of “Shine”, but God’s definition is a very different one:
At that time, when you call, the Lord will answer;
when you cry out, He will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you get rid of the yoke among you,
the finger-pointing and malicious speaking,
and if you offer yourself to the hungry,
and satisfy the afflicted one,
then your light will shine in the darkness,
and your night will be like noonday.
I have always had to struggle with moments of being in the spotlight. I don’t enjoy it, and even try to avoid it. And I’m a pastor’s wife. Staying in the background isn’t always easy to accomplish–or the right thing to do, and I still cringe when it becomes necessary.
I know that it has been a hindrance, in a way. The expectations of being a pastor’s wife can be quite overwhelming, and not always convenient when you have a personality like mine. I much prefer sharing stories over a cup of coffee than standing in front of a group.
So does that mean I am flawed, or that God can’t use me? I don’t think so. I could fret over and struggle to become something that I am not (and I have). I could force myself to step out of my comfort zone and do things that I’d rather not (and I do need to do that sometimes), but I’ve learned to guard my steps and choose that path only when I feel prompted by God Himself–not just out of guilt or because someone else thinks I should.
Some people shine in the spotlight, but it just might be that you can shine in places that are much more conspicuous. These verses in Isaiah remind me of something very important:
Here’s how that transformation will happen:
- Call to the Lord. (v.9) “…the Lord will answer.” Seek Him. He is the One Who brings illumination. Just like Moses in Exodus 34, being in His presence will affect your very countenance. “..he did not realize that the skin of his face shone as a result of his speaking with the Lord.” (v.29) Was Moses special, or was it God? The Bible says that Moses was, “..a very humble man, more so than any man on the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3)
- Lay your burdens down. (v.9) The freedom that comes from confession will not only free you from the burden of sin (which includes finger-pointing and malicious speaking!), but of worry and stress and fear and anxiety and… you got it. Just let it go. “Get rid of it”.
- Serve. (v.10) It’s that simple. You are never more like Jesus than when you are serving. Recognizing that there are many who are less fortunate than you are will bring you back to perspective. Look around you. Seeing the world as God sees it will allow Him to shine through you.
The eyes that shine the brightest often come after a few tears have been shed.
Let God take that load off your shoulder so you can stop focusing on your problems and start serving Him with purpose.
The Lord will always lead you,
satisfy you in a parched land,
and strengthen your bones.
You will be like a watered garden
and like a spring whose waters never run dry.
Some of the brightest stars in the work of the kingdom are those who are serving behind the scenes.
No accolades, no glory–just pure, undefiled service for their King.
Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you took care of Me; I was in prison and you visited Me. “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?’ “And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’ Matthew 25:34-40
I don’t know about you, but I have work to do. My plans can wait. God’s plan involves purpose–and I don’t want to miss the chance to be even a small reflection of His light.
Verses 2-7 speak of the kind of fasting that God desires. Go read it. It’s not about giving up food or drink. It’s about breaking out of your comfort zone and away from the bondage of sin, allowing Him to free you–not for the sake of freedom, but releasing you so you can serve others!
Verse 7 just jumped right off the page for me today:
“… and not to ignore your own flesh and blood?”
If you’re a mom, then I know that some days you feel like that is all you do. You give and give and give until you feel like there is no time left for serving the Lord–but you are! God gifted you with the blessing of your family, and He knows what you do and watches as you serve them. Your ministry to your family matters. No one else in the world can love them like you do and can impact their world like you can–for good or for bad. Don’t think that it goes unnoticed by your Heavenly Father. Be encouraged today that you are doing an important work. Whether you are a young mom raising up the next generation for kingdom purposes or an empty-neater caring for elderly parents who are finishing their race, God has given us clear instructions in His word about our responsibility toward those He places in our care. Serving them means we are serving Him. Don’t forget that. He laid down His life for us, and asks us to do the same for others. (1 John 3) Where are you letting His light shine today?
“Let it shine till Jesus comes”!