Monday, September 30, 2013

More than Enough

After I wrote about my awkward faith moments (click this link to read it) in my last post, I started thinking more about those kind of moments and God's light.  I realized there's some more to this conversation.  God's light is a big deal in our lives.  It deserves time and attention.  That's why I want to zoom in a little bit today.  Jesus says,

You are the light of the world.

Man, that is a loaded statement, you know?  When you think about it, God is giving us a huge responsibility.  Tell me again, God, what exactly am I supposed to do with that?  What are you really saying?  It can be overwhelming and intimidating.  If we aren't careful, we might find ourselves guilt tripping over these words.  I know I do.  I catch myself running when God's light means putting myself on the spot with others.  It is a struggle I face.  My walk with God is both similar and very different to believers around me.  How confusing!  Me God?  Are you sure you need me for this?  You want little, inexperienced me to be a light in this big, scary world?  I am just one ordinary person with lots of baggage.  It's hard to grasp that the omniscient, omnipotent Lord of Heaven and Earth is talking to me, much less using me.  But, friends, that is just what God does as soon as we let Him into our lives, so we might as well get used to it and start talking about it!  

Sometimes it's easier to hear and see the big picture in the details of someone else's story.   So, I want to share a true story about a nine year old boy, baseball, and some shining light.  The boy played on many baseball teams in the past but one particular coach made it a habit to pray with the team before every game.  That simple routine had a huge impact on the boy.  See, that praying coach made a decision to let God's light shine through him.  Months later, it was still shining when the boy joined a new travel baseball team.  The travel coach did not pray before games.  The boy talked to his parents several times about how he wished the team prayed together before games.  Then one day after Sunday school and a lesson on Samuel, the boy said he felt like God was talking to him.  His Sunday school teachers were obviously shining God's light in the life of that boy, too.  The conversation went something like this:
The boy:  Mom, I feel like I can hear God talking to me. 
The mom:  (Surprised) Well, buddy, what's He saying to you? 
The boy:  He's saying I need to pray before my baseball game.  He said not to be scared because He's going to help me.  He will be with me.  I am still scared though, Mom.
At this point, the mom was so moved by what her son was saying, she paused to get her thoughts together.  This was big stuff for a nine year old.  It was big stuff for the mom too.
The mom  Well I know God does talk to us.  If you feel like this is weighing on your heart, I am sure God is talking to you.  God works through us.  If you think God is telling you to pray, I know you can do it.  
In the car on the way home that day, the boy talked more about what was holding him back.  He wasn't afraid to pray, he was afraid of his coach's reaction.  He didn't know how to approach his coach, and he was worried about what his friends would think.  He wasn't sure how they felt about God.  The unknown bothered him, and he was trying to work through it.  Sound familiar?  How many of us can relate to this nine year old's struggle?  It hit the mom at that moment in the car.  She couldn't possibly expect her son to step out in faith on his own when she and her husband were as scared as he was.  So, the boy's dad agreed to discuss the whole thing with the coach.  The dad even agreed to say a prayer for his son and his team since his son was so nervous about the situation.  This became as much a leap of faith for the dad as it was for the boy.

So what do you know?  God plays baseball too.  After talking to the boy's travel baseball coach, the parents learned that he loved the idea of praying before the games but had not done it for "political reasons."  The dad was prepared to pray for the team; but before he could, the coach asked the boy if he wanted to say the prayer.  And without an ounce of hesitation, the boy said yes.  The coach had a conversation with the team about praying, and the boy prayed a nervous, short and very sweet prayer with his team.  It was a God moment.  It was the biggest win the team could have had that day.  Friends that, from a nine year old baseball player at a baseball game, is how you let your light shine!  When we let it shine, we never know how far it will reach.  When we see and experience divine light, it awakens our hearts.  It is contagious.  We are inspired by it.  In case you were wondering, that boy was my son, and praying before games has become a routine for his travel team.  Now, he has said several team prayers.  His faith has strengthened our faith.  And just the other day, another kid on the team, asked to say the team prayer.  That's the power of God's light.  It started with one simple and faithful prayer.  Like I said, it's contagious.    

Let's just take another look at God's words for us and break this down.  Let's figure out what it means for you and for me.  It's pretty amazing to think about this simple and empowering truth ( and visit for more Bible verses on God's light). 

You.  You might as well face it.  Yes, God is talking to you.  There's no denying it.  In my case, he's talking to me.  That's because, as believers, we are personally responsible for following our Savior.  We have the freedom of choice.  While God's love, mercy, and grace are universal, what, when, why, where, and how He calls me is directly related to who He knows I am. (Jeremiah 1:5).  It's important for me to find security in the fact that my call to be God's light may quite possibly look completely different than your shining light.  That's part of it's beauty.  God is able to call each of us in His perfect, person-specific way so we all have the potential to shine.      

Are.  I am a child of God and so are you.  No two people in this world are alike.  We are "fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) by God in His image.  When we follow Him, we begin to realize that awesome potential.  We can take comfort in the fact that the same God who created us and knows us is the same God who calls on us and counts on us for His glory.  It's scary at times to step out in faith and let our light shine, but that's why He created us.  We are perfectly capable.

The Light.  First, I have to notice that "the light" is very specific.  "The light" in the context of this verse is light that comes from God, divine light.  God is light and all that is good and pure and true, the way to eternal life.  It's a light I cannot manufacture or control on my own simply by turning on and off some light switches.  Jesus was our light in the world (John 8:12).  He was God and all His love in the flesh.  And when Jesus died for us, He became our saving grace for all time, the Holy One who lives in us through the Holy Spirit.  That's why, we can be certain that believing and accepting Jesus means we have God's divine light in each of us.  It's waiting to be discovered and used as a perfect blessing to others.  

Of the World.  We are promised eternal life in Christ, but we cannot just sit here and wait on that day.  God needs us to live in connection with others for Him.  It can be dark out there.  We are God's hands and feet, just like Jesus.  And even though we are not perfect like Jesus, even though we get lost in this imperfect place in which we live, our light is perfect.  It is our help and our way.  God means for me to be a shinning light no matter where I am in this world, dependent on Him and the gifts He gives me, His divine light, to reflect His perfect, extravagant love (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).

So what light does this shed on our situation?  God lives in You.  He lives in me.  He is here.  He is now.  He is the source of our light for this journey we are on day to day.  Our gifts, talents, strengths and weaknesses, experiences, and resources, ALL GIFTS FROM ABOVE, have the potential to be reflections of God's light.  This is such good news for us.  With God's light, what we don't know can be every bit as powerful and valuable as what we do know.  With God's light, our failures can be as usable and transforming as our successes.  With God's light, the most unlikely among us can shine the brightest.  With God's light, our everyday, simple, routine acts of faith can be extraordinary life changing moments in the lives of others.  With God's light, random acts of kindness are never random.  They are Godsends.  Sharing God's light means others can encounter Christ through us.  God wants us to hear Him.  He shows us ways to light up the world with His amazing grace and abounding love.  He gives us all we need to do that for Him.  If you think there's no way you have it together enough to be the light of the world, if you think you aren't good enough, strong enough, experienced enough, old enough, knowledgeable enough, courageous enough, outspoken enough, eloquent enough, confident enough, bold enough, spiritual enough, wise enough, whatever holds you back enough, I hope you'll think again.  God is always more than enough.  You.  Yes, you, soak in this beautiful "Sonshine."  You are the light of the world.  

A prayer for today-

Dear Almighty God,

I thank you for the light of Your truth and Holy presence in my life.  Thank you for all those people who share Your light with me, shining and inspiring me in my own faith.  Forgive me for thinking I am not capable enough to shine Your light in the world.  You, Lord, are always more than enough.  You are all I need.  I pray you will fill my heart with new ways to be "the light of the world" for Your glory.  Show me where, when, and how to shine for You.  Give me the strength and courage I need this day and always.

In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit I pray,

May You see the face of Christ in everyone you meet, and may everyone you meet see Christ in you,

**To read the post that got me talking about our shining light, click here... Awkward Moments.

1 comment:

  1. This is amazing! I hope my boys are so brave and so strong one day. Thank you for sharing this sweet, family-wide lesson here. I will carry it with me!