3 Ways to Shine Your Light in a Dark World

ways to light a dark world laurie wallinAs I watched the news yesterday, headline after headline punched me in the gut, bringing me to tears. I felt like an idiot crying in the middle of the gym on an elliptical machine. But what else could I do, reading these words?

  • Biker gang shootout kills 9 in Texas
  • 8 bodies recovered from U.S. copter crash site
  • Oil tankers: Danger on the rails
  • In Nepal, uncertainty, fear settle like dust following aftershock

The world can feel so overwhelmingly broken, life can be so chaotic and uncertain. It can leave us feeling like curling up into a corner, hoping it will just end soon.

But we aren’t helpless.

We’ve got a few powerful flashlights at our disposal.

Know the end of the story.

Yes, there is an enemy. It has many names—ISIS, sex trafficking, the opposing political party, homelessness, poverty, corruption, or addiction—it is all the same enemy. The one who is content to keep us isolated from others, busy in our own lives, ashamed, fearful, paralyzed. It’s an enemy whose dismal and fitting end will come.

And God Himself will be among [us], and He will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” — Revelation 21:4-5

The gut-wrenching brokenness of this world has an end point. Healing will come. Darkness cannot ultimately overcome the Light. God wins. We will be with Him where He is, and we will whoop it up together something fierce when we get there.

End of story.

Pray into the darkness.

Not just pray a shopping list of requests, or prayers we’ve said since we were five. But prayer from the groaning place in our soul where the tears and grief and rage at the injustice of the world lives. We’ve got to raise our voices. Stand up. Pray the promises of scripture and the hope of God over desperately hopeless situations. When we see pictures in the news and ache for the child-casualties of war and poverty, we can proclaim the power of God over a dark, torn world.

At the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth — Philippians 2:10

I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven. — Jesus, in Matthew 18:18

What are we permitting on earth by our bored, lifeless prayers? What are we leaving loose around this life that needs a little heaven fire poured out in its direction? We can do more than grieve, friends. We can break chains, bring circumstances to their knees before the God of heaven, and see Light shatter the darkness.

Love the person in front of you.

Not just tolerate or enjoy or like them, but love them. As in, extend mercy, time, energy, encouragement, help, and companionship. Love them beyond what’s easy or convenient. Love them like they matter, because they do. Not just because they’re human beings, but because they carry in themselves a facet of the image of God and without them the world aches for that missing piece of who God is.

When we don’t belong to each other, we participate not only in the devastation of the world, but a desecration of the image of God. — Ann Voskamp

We are, whether we like it or not, part of one another.  So send a card (in the actual mail), call that friend, linger with a neighbor at the mailboxes, look that homeless guy in the eye and smile at him. Help Ann Voskamp raise money to keep children out of ISIS’s clutches. Hold your child a little longer tonight. Kiss your husband or roommate or mom and let them know they mean the world to you.

We can make a difference in a dark world by the very act of being us instead of you and me.we are better together

Let’s push back today, shall we? If you’ve ever seen the power of a small nightlight in a dark hallway, imagine what God can do with us—together—shining His light into a dark world.

-Laurie

{Joining with a community of encouragers at Holley Gerth’s place today.}