Many of the trinkets the kids have brought home from Sunday school over the years have been glow-in-the-dark in nature; crosses, vinyl bracelets, rings, etc. One evening, after tucking her in bed, our daughter was asking me to show her how to make her bracelet glow again. So I turned on her lamp and held it close to the bulb for a minute before turning it off. She was delighted and I explained matter of factly, “You see, in order to glow it has to soak up the light.”
Wow, what a truth. And for more that just trinkets! We need to soak up God’s light in order to glow. We need to do it regularly and thoroughly. I know that there are weeks (especially with three small children) when I am hard pressed to recall what the sermon was about a few hours after church. These are the same weeks that I tend to feel more burdened by trying to take on the world myself, and slightly less full of God’s confidence and faith in his promise.
Soaking up the light doesn’t just mean organized worship. Having breakfast with a fellow believer and discussing your faith, daily devotions, and prayer, making a habit out of being in his light, his Word, will help charge you and make you ready to glow if and when the lights should go out suddenly.
God designed us this way. He designed us to grow stronger when we exercise. All parts of us are designed this way, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. All of what makes us tick requires exercise. Our body’s muscles require exercise, physical skills like playing piano or a craft like wood working. Our mental facilities and skills require constant sharpening (don’t ask me how to do the same trigonometry I once did in High School). Very often underestimated or overlooked, is emotional self control which also requires practice and discipline. God warns us about lack of self control and tells us to practice constantly and discipline ourselves. I’ve seen far too often in our world what lack of emotional self control does to people and their families. Without exercise and practice all parts of our person slip and become undisciplined. The same is true about our faith. When we fail to exercise and practice our faith, regularly, the way God has designed us, we begin to slip. For discipline and self control COME from God, gifts, free of charge from the Holy Spirit.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
In my life, I find that slipping in my spiritual exercises of being in the word, being in the light results in a growing knot of anxiety in my gut as I begin to believe that somehow I am in control and realize how much of life is really out of my control. A good steady workout program to soak up and store up God’s light is a great way to get rid of the “fear gut”. Rays of God’s word also keep away unhealthy influences and thoughts that Satan takes every opportunity to sneak in when we are not looking.
So soak up God's light and let it shine. The amazing thing about glowing God’s light is that it’s so wonderfully contagious. Let them begin to wonder what makes you shine.
And what a story you'll have to tell them when they ask how they can shine too.