I have some little green guys. Lucy got them out of my "bag of tricks" on the weekend and I found them lounging on my desk today. They're rather ordinary fellows but I know that in order for them to do what they were designed to do, they have to spend time in the light. When packed away, they are just standard green aliens. But in the sunshine, they fill up with light and then...when they find themselves in a dark place? Well, they just shine like vibrant little light bulbs.
Lucy and I like to position them in a sunbeam for a minute or two, then gather them up in her chubby little hands and run, giggling, into the nearest closet. Once the door is completely closed, she opens her hands and we "oooh" and "ahh" about the little greenish lights until they eventually fade. Out we go again, let them soak up more light and then back into the dark room for more "glowing".
Of course there are all kinds of analogies we can put together about "staying in the light" and "shining in the dark" and I wonder what that might look like for me. How do I soak up the light so that when darkness comes there is a shining that comes from within, with no effort on my part.
I've got a few ideas. (You knew I would.)
- Don't let yesterday take up too much of today.
- Rest in the pure love of God for you. No striving. No getting good-enough. Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD. Psalm 4:6
- Pay attention to your feelings. There is a reason for them. If you notice them, they won't go into hiding and cause all kinds of havoc.
- Be oh-so-careful about self-talk. I don't have to believe everything that comes into my mind. I can tell myself "no" when I find myself dwelling in negativity or self pity.
- Talk with God as often as possible. He is so near and wants to carry all my burdens. This openness keeps me in touch with this loving One and it lets him touch, heal, encourage and love on me.
- My favorite way to soak up the light is to open my Bible. Oh my gosh! It is full of ideas on how to take in the light. It started when God said, "Light up the darkness!" and our lives filled with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful." 2 Corinthians 4:6 msg
There are many other ways to remain in the light so Christ can shine when it gets dark. Perhaps you could make your own list so the next time you find yourself in a dark place you will have reserves that will shine you into tomorrow, fill you with hope and encourage you to keep hanging on.