Every day, there are situations in our normal routines that require us to be the light of Christ in the midst of utter darkness.
Every day, there are people crossing our paths who need to hear a word of hope, feel a touch of compassion, see the possibility of a different future. We need not look far to find people who need the light of Christ. We need only to be available, looking, willing and obedient to go where they are.
This was made so real to me by something my daughter Sophia once said. It was when we ran a quick errand to the store — a simple errand— that ended with God leaving an indelible mark on my heart.
Nick and I had raced through the aisles, pulling Sophia along with us, and as we were making our way to the checkout, maneuvering to the front of the store, we passed a huge four-sided display of flashlights. Sophia was with us, and at the time, she was obsessed with flashlights — industrial ones, Barbie ones, little ones, big ones, any kind of flashlight. She carried them in her purse, in her back- pack, even hid them in her bed under her pillow. She loved the different patterns each one made on her bedroom ceiling long after she was tucked in for the night.
Looking through all the different flashlights, Sophia picked out the one she thought would work best, the one she seemed to think was different from all the others she already possessed, and she flipped on the switch. Staring into the light, even cupping our hands around it, we strained to see as best we could, but none of us could see even a little glow. The giant fluorescent lights of the store were too bright, and the flashlight’s meager light was swallowed up.
“Oh, Mummy,” Sophia pleaded, “can we please go find some darkness?”
Can we please go find some darkness? From the mouth of babes comes the wisdom of Christ. I couldn’t help but be arrested by her innocent question.
Darkness is everywhere. We live in a world full of fear and in desperate need of light.
No one could doubt it who had stood, as I had, in Auschwitz, contemplating the unspeakable horrors that had been committed there. Darkness and the fear it carries is everywhere.
But Jesus said,
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven. — Matthew 5:14-16
The light overtakes the darkness and the fear. It makes it all disappear. It eradicates its power. It eliminates its strength. Just as sure as morning follows night, the light of Christ is always coming — through us. As His hands and feet, we are the force that conquers the darkness. We. The undaunted ones.
The prophet Isaiah said,
Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. — Isaiah 60:1-2 NKJV
God’s glory is upon us, and His light can break through the darkest night. That’s why He wants us to partner with Him in bringing light into the dark places where oppressors try their best to shut people away.
I understand that we can get worn down by the needs in this world and wearied by them. We need sleep, rest, restoration, recuperation. That’s why God gives us the end of a day, and He doesn’t begrudge us our rest. He doesn’t want us to come to the end of ourselves and be defeated and enslaved in a spiritual Auschwitz, tormented, thinking it is the work we do that sets us free, so that we have to get back up on the treadmill and do more, be more. He doesn’t want us to burn the candle at both ends so that we end up lethargic, fatigued, burned up, and burnt out. To do that would be to walk into the lie that was wrought in iron over the arched entrance of Auschwitz. Isn’t this is what God meant when he asked in Isaiah 1:12,
Why this frenzy of sacrifices? — MSG
Working ourselves into a frenzy or tormenting others by working them to death is not freedom. It is enslavement.
But we are not slaves. We are free. And we have been freed for a purpose: to share what we’ve been given. The Bible tells us,
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? — Micah 6:8 NKJV
We do justly and love mercy and walk humbly with our God when we rise ready, when we get up and go out with God to partner with Him in his purposes on the earth. Some days, that may mean nothing more than doing a dozen little things throughout your waking hours to love well your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and those whose path you cross: listening, running an errand, praying, opening your home, preparing a meal.
And some days, it may mean an assignment much bigger, even dangerous. Flying home from Auschwitz, I knew God was stirring something big in me. He wanted people rescued and restored. That I knew. But who? Reflecting on the camp where millions of Jews were murdered, I thought of King Xerxes in the Bible, who was persuaded by an adviser to issue an edict condemning all the nation’s Jews to death. Esther, a Jew but chosen by King Xerxes as his queen, seemed uniquely positioned to persuade the king to withdraw the edict and was urged to do so by her cousin Mordecai, who said,
Who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? — Esther 4:14
I felt much the same. Who could say that I had not been born into a reasonably affluent and free society for such a time as this? For a time when I could see the injustice and crying need so common throughout the world and stand up to combat it?
Won’t you join me? At the very least, pursue what God is calling you to do? You and I have opportunities every day to combat the darkness, the evil, that surrounds us in every country, every corner of the world. The opportunities are countless, and the needs are desperate.
My Schindler’s List moment lit a fire in me. Let it ignite a similar fire in you. That day I stood in Auschwitz, God reminded me that as hard as it may be to believe, the crimes against His creation, against humanity, are no less egregious today than during the days the ovens were burning at Auschwitz, and those who perpetrate them no less cruel. Genocide, slavery, murder, rape, exploitation — those things exist throughout the world, not just in concentration camps. And they exist now, not just in history.
Whoever saves one life saves the world entire.
I will never be able to forget this saying from the Talmud. I don’t want to.
Whatever God has called you to do where you are, in your realm of influence, you cannot deny that the darkness that surrounds us is growing. Remember, you are the light called to combat that darkness. Together, with God’s help, let’s defeat the darkness, if even for just one life. And then let’s do it for one more, and one more.
Excerpted with permission from Undaunted by Christine Caine, copyright Christine Caine.
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What is God calling you towards? Where’s the darkness that needs your light? What is the Lord stirring in you that would defeat the darkness? Come share with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily