Letting your light shine...

Letting your light shine ... when all you want to do is pull the covers over your head.

By Cheryl McCloud

Matthew 5:16 is a verse many of us have heard or read repeatedly: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

It's such a wonderful verse and the imagery is beautiful but how many of us are able to keep those lights shining when everything is falling down around us?

When the doctor delivers devastating news? When your boss calls you into the office and tells you that your position is being eliminated? Or when the balance in the checking account won't stretch to cover those next round of bills?

Often, it's not the huge life-changing events that can put that light on a dimmer. How about a child who shouts she hates you, a husband who forgets a birthday or anniversary. Or an overheard comment that criticizes you.

How many of us are like children when things get bad? We want to pull those covers over our heads. Pretend nothing is out there. And we don't want to come out until everything is good again.

Jesus calls us to be a light to the world, and how can we be a light if we're hiding ... at the time our lights can shine their brightest? When everything around us is dark, then a single candle can show us the way.

Under our Florida sun, at high noon, the light of a candle isn't noticed. It's easy to be cheerful and positive when everything is going well.

But when things go wrong in our lives, do others see that we have something that they don't have?

That we can lean on someone who gives us peace despite our circumstances? When the next news broadcast blares the latest tragedy or predicts the next catastrophe around the corner, do others see us as people who have hope?

Do we grumble or speak positively? Does our countenance shout peace or despair?

My tendency is to sit back, to be behind the scenes, so I know I have to make that conscious effort to uncover my light so it can be seen.

How about you? How bright is your light shining and is it showing others the way to Jesus?