The little blank white business card stares back at me with my pen in hand. I’m finding this prayer request assignment in bible study hard. We are asked each week to write a request about some darkness in our lives that needs to go. I could make a grocery list long but who wants to share it? I even told her as I sat there struggling. She giggled because isn’t it the truth… leaving things in the dark seems easier. She giggled because she knows I know leaving things hidden is not God’s way. No, His way is all about bringing us out into the open… invading our darkness with His light.
Tuesday morning I head to work only to discover the area where I need the most light is dark. Lots of long white bulbs have gone dim in the shop and so I get to work. Changing the first one was not so bad, but the rest is where this story takes a turn. The lights in the front of the shop hang suspended on chains, and it takes a really tall step ladder to get to them. My husband has come to help and within minutes I’m standing high off the ground on the rickety wooden ladder. The ladder is wobbly… my knees are shaking… I take a slow deep breath as my husband laughs at me. I have an issue with heights and it is one I can mostly avoid. The issue was all but forgotten until I find myself all alone up there on the ladder that might or might not support me.
“Just finish this one, and I’ll do the rest,” my hubby says.
“No, I’m learning a lesson,” I reply like a two year old exclaiming “I do it!” Standing back on solid ground I come to a conclusion.
Shining light feels really dangerous.
Jesus tells us we are the Light of the World. Remember the song you sang as a little child, “hide it under a bushel, NO!” He says lights aren’t meant for hiding– they’re meant for shining. He must have known we would feel a lot like me up on the ladder. He knew if it felt dangerous, we would avoid it all together until it was some forgotten issue lying in wait to catch us off guard.
I climbed the ladder over and over again yesterday. As I headed up for the last time I noticed something… no more shaking knees or heart palpitations. My hands lost their tremble and the dizziness was all but gone. Yes it was the same wiggly ladder… the same height to climb. Nothing about this job changed, but something in me did.
Maybe shining light is the same way. We climb up on shaky knees and everything in us screams GET DOWN. Staying on the ground… staying in the dark just feels easier, but we’re not called to darkness. We’re called to shine Light in dark places. Maybe each time we find the courage to shine His light is another step toward trusting Him in spite of the fear inside.
My husband stands at the bottom of the ladder looking up at me. He says he’ll catch me if I fall and I smile. God says the same thing you know. He challenges us to climb ladders and go the distance… to take risks and put ourselves out there. He calls us to shaky places where we take deep breaths in order to remain calm.
All the while He whispers, “I’ll catch you if you fall.”
In the same way, let your light shine before others,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-23251A" data-link="(A)” style=”background-color: white; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> that they may see your good deeds<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-23251B" data-link="(B)” style=”background-color: white; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> and glorify<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-23251C" data-link="(C)” style=”background-color: white; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> your Father in heaven.–Matthew 5:16