POKING HOLES IN THE DARKNESS
A disciple of Christ is instructed in the Bible to allow his or her light to shine through good works. And, we are told, a lifestyle filled with the light of good works brings glory to God.
Jesus says in Matthew 5:14-16, You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
God uses our good works, made visible in and through our lives, to show the world what He is like. The word for good is kala which can be translated lofty actions, fine deeds, upright works. The shared meaning of all of these words? Attractive, beautiful, shining displays that draw attention to God and His excellent character.
In Psalm 103 we see the perfections of God's character revealed. Verse 6 - the Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. Verse 8 - the Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Verse 10 - He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. Verse 13 - as a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him.
A story is told of Robert Lewis Stevenson, who spent much of his childhood in poor health. One night his nurse found him at his bedroom window, mesmerized by a lamplighter slowly working his way through the black night. Always concerned for his health, she fussed, "Child, come away from there. You'll catch your death of cold." However, young Robert would not leave the window. Pointing, he exclaimed, "See; look there; there's a man poking holes in the darkness."
Watchers are mesmerized as they see the beautiful character of God revealed through the light of our actions:
- a torch flame burning over the needs of the downtrodden,
- a bright burst of patience when toes are being stepped on,
- a candlelight display of undeserved gracious forgiveness,
- a flash of a lighthouse beacon illuminating sacrificial service,
these things poke holes in the darkness of our world - a world begging for SOMEONE to shed some light.
Poking holes in the darkness isn't easy - dare I say, This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine?