Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. (1st Peter 4:8, MSG)
A few years ago, I was doing some mission work in a tiny village in the Republic of Moldova. One of those villages where the roads are dirt, chickens and goats roam rather freely, bathrooms are a hole in the ground in the backyard, and bathing consists of a bucket of water that was heated on the stove. In my case, the bucket you took upstairs to the top room that was missing a few windows (in the middle of winter). I feel like that, plus a gypsy village in Romania, made me forever grateful for my water heater and washing machine.
Anyway, I was walking back to my room one evening after dark. I know most people think they know what darkness looks like is, but this was a darkness that I’d never experienced before. I remember literally putting my hand in front of my face and I could not see it!
Ephesians 5:8 says, For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.
It reminds me of God’s goodness and the distinction between the light and dark. Darkness can be terrifying, disabling, confusing, frustrating (ya know when you don’t see the lego laying in the middle of the floor and you step on it and try to keep from shouting profanities in an effort not to wake sleeping children), but even the smallest light can pierce through the heaviest darkness, illuminating what’s around you. Not only this, but it also reminds believers that we are to walk as children of light!
I honestly don’t watch the news. I don’t keep up on politics like I should…but the past few days I’ve been watching videos about some of the changes taking place in our world. Not going to lie, it makes me somewhat sick to think my kids are going to be raised in such a mess, but it also makes me realize the importance of being light…being love to those who don’t deserve it according to worldly views. In a random conversation yesterday, a friend brought up 1 Peter 4:8 (the verse I opened with). Here’s that verse in another version…Above all keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins (ESV).
It’s easy to combat bad with bad. To fire back when we see fit when people have wronged us or don’t agree with us…but in all the animosity, don’t forget that light (love) can pierce through wretchedness.
Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted. Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with on another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4: 30-32, ESV)
I hope this is just a bit of encouragement for you, and for myself, to be gentle, to be forgiving and to shower people with a little extra love. To walk as children of the light as we shine for Christ.
And to end…here’s just a few of the lyrics from the song I wrote after getting back to my bedroom on that very, very dark night! 🙂
Rays of sunshine coming through the dark clouds
You make me stand in awe of You.
Beams of sunlight lead me straight back to the source that is You.
As the stars light up the night, I pray that I would shine.
As the moon gives sight to the darkness I pray I would shine.
Lord let me shine, shine. Make me salt make me light.
Let all of my life glorify You as I shine.
Though the world is dark and hopeless there is love that changes all
His name is Jesus. His name is Jesus.
The one who saves is the one I will praise as I shine.
Let me shine, shine as a burning fire blazing for You
Let all of my life bring praise to Your name as I shine