“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:5
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” Ephesians 5:8
I used to stand at my bedroom window as a child and belt out Debby Boone’s song, “You Light Up My Life.” Oh, if I had only known in years to come I would give just about anything including my very life to a dangerous, wild obsession with finding the one man I was convinced would give me the love, happiness, joy, acceptance, validation, etc., I so desperately desired. He would light up my life! He would be my light! He would make everything good and okay and right and be the answer to all my needs and wants. If I could only find him!
Decades later, as I was cleaning out my house in preparation for moving part-time back to Virginia for ministry, I came upon a sweet, pretty childhood lamp my beloved Mom had passed along to me as an adult. God had been convicting me to be willing to let go of everything I didn’t need regardless of the memories attached, and despite having come to live an exceedingly simple, non-materialistic life, I had a very few material things left that were hard to let go. One day, as I passed by the lamp sitting in my pile of stuff to let go in my living room, refusing day after day to part with it, I heard the Spirit of God speak to me.
“You don’t need that light,” He essentially said. “I will be your light.”
Jesus Christ is the man who lights up my life today. He is my light. He is my greatest love and desire. He is my heart. Yet still, though seldom now, I find myself clutching on to something or someone at times as though I need it to be my answer, my light. Days later, as I became closer to letting go of the lamp, the Lord impressed upon me a message for us all. When we come to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and see He is our light, we must not hold that light to ourselves. We are “children of light” commissioned to share the light and love of Christ and the Gospel message with the world around us. I needed to let that lamp go and let someone else be blessed by it the same way we who follow Christ need to not hoard His light to ourselves and need instead to share Him with the world all around. “It’s time to let go of the light,” the Holy Spirit said as I finished writing this. “Let it symbolize your continued focus on loving me and sharing me with the world.” Do you know the light and hope of Christ?