Being the LightLeave a Comment
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” ~John 8:12.
Have you ever seen people that just seem to be attractive and eye catching but you can’t place your finger on the why? It isn’t that they are ugly, they just are not screaming gorgeous in their appearance. You can’t take your eyes off of them.
They have something in them different from ordinary people. We are often attracted to the things we do not have. “Opposites attract!” You were once seeking out what you didn’t have, too.
It is easy to be in their presence and you find yourself seeking more opportunities to be near them.
I once heard a story about a pastor shopping with his wife. She wanted to go to the mall to find a few outfits for an event they would be attending. Faithful husband that he was, he held her purse and followed her throughout the store.
They moved from store to store, weaving in and out of clothing racks for hours. She tried on outfit after outfit. He would hold things up for her to see. When she would try something on and it wasn’t the right size, he would go back to the rack in search for the perfect fit to bring to the dressing room for her.
After many hours of shopping, they ended up in a large department store and he was tired. His wife sweetly allowed him to take a break on a nearby bench.
At the same time they arrived at the mall, miles away, another lady was driving around contemplating taking her life. She had lost everything and felt as though she was in the depths of despair. Grieving what could have been, not knowing what to do. She had lost her job after calling in too much. Having experienced the death of her child and then a divorce from her husband, she was alone.
Grief causes us to think poorly and even appear crazy to others. Seclusion from others was the only way she felt she could cope. After many weeks of this, her boss let her go.
One choice can change a person’s life drastically.
Wanting to get out of the house to think, she drove for miles. Driving in circles and for hours, she nearly ran out of gas when pulling into a parking lot. It was there in that lot that she began to cry out to Jesus.
Okay, Lord, I really don’t know if you exist. I am not sure what it means to believe in you. Things have been as bad as they could be. I am not strong enough for this and I cannot handle it. I have thought about being done with it all and then my misery would end. People have told me that you are the answer but are you? You haven’t been there for me before. You don’t seem to care and probably don’t even know who I am. If you are who they say your are then give me a sign. I can’t do life by myself. I need help! To truly believe in you, I need to see the light. Show me the way to you. Illuminate my path because I don’t know how to walk this journey.
As the lady opened her eyes, she noticed a beam of light coming from the doorway of the mall. Her eyes couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Blinking several times, she looked around to see if anyone was watching her. Even thinking to herself, Is this happening? Am I crazy or seeing things?
Exiting the car, she walked slowly in disbelief to the entrance of the mall. Cautiously looking around, she entered the doorway. Defined on the ground was a path of light, bright as the sunshine.
There is no mistaking the Light of the World.
For hours, this lady walked the path being lit up for her. In and out of stores, she walked. Weaving between clothing racks and stopping near the dressing room several times, she diligently trekked on. Nothing would stop her from seeing where this path was leading.
Leaving a major department store she saw a man sitting on a bench by himself. Puzzled by his appearance, she couldn’t take her eyes off of him. There wasn’t anything extraordinary about him. He was an older gentleman, sitting next to several shopping bags and holding a lady’s purse.
The powerful light stopped right at his feet. With bewilderment, she slowly approached the man.
“Excuse me, sir?” she questioned. Responding as he opened his eyes from praying, “Yes, what can I do for you ma’am?” “This might sound strange, I believe you are supposed to pray for me but I am not sure why you,” tilting her head to the side, as she replied.
Sitting down next to him, she proceeded to tell him the whole story. Giving details of her sad events, sitting in the parking lot talking to God, and the mysterious light that led her to him.
The pastor softly chuckled and shared that he had been praying for her. Of course that made absolutely no sense to her and he could tell so he began to explain his side of the story.
He shared the tail of his shopping excursion with his wife and how he almost didn’t come along.
God needs us to be the light for others to see Him.
Earlier that morning he arose to the task of needing to work on his sermon. His wife wanted company while she shopped but he hadn’t even started preparing his message yet, for the next day’s service. The Lord told him the title was “Be the Light.” He began to pray for wisdom and clarity for that message. God said to go shopping with his wife. The pastor had no real desire and felt it would be wasting his sermon prep time but he obeyed.
Walking around the mall, throughout each store and in between the racks, he prayed about his sermon. Asking God, what would you like me to say to encourage people to “Be the Light?”
For hours he prayed and walked until he was exhausted. Resting on the nearest bench, with eyes closed in prayer, he heard “excuse me, sir.”
This pastor chuckled to himself when she got done with her story because his prayer was answered through hers. He knew how God operated and yet it still amazed him. He began to tell her the story of the one True Light of the world.
We are called to be the light of Jesus for others to see. Use this example of the pastor to remind yourself that everyday is a new opportunity to be the light into the world, whether at a pulpit or in the mall.
Be the Light!