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When the Light Goes Out!

I really enjoy flowers and plants. My husband,
Jack, and I have numerous trees, shrubs, and
flowering plants around our house. Jack does
most of our yard work, and he often takes a short
break from his studying to pull the weeds from a
flower bed or trim a few branches to keep a bush in
shape.

Last summer I was especially proud of some
beautiful ferns we had hanging outside around
our patio. Given just the right amount of light and
water, they really flourished, with dark green,
luxuriant leaves and tendrils that cascaded over the
sides of the pot like a vibrant, intricately woven
tapestry.

I enjoyed those ferns all spring and summer
long, and when fall approached, I couldn’t stand
to see them die. So Dr. and I carried them to the
office and gave them to various staff members to
take home.

All except one — the largest and most beautiful
plant of all. We put that one in the office chapel up
by the pulpit. It was so beautiful, so fresh — it was
a reminder of God’s blessings to us through
nature. And many commented on how much that
fern added to the room.

Then one day a week or so later, I went into the
chapel and immediately noticed that something
was wrong with the plant. It was still alive, but its
rich green color seemed duller and its leaves were
drooping. “Oh my, I thought, “What’s wrong?
Are we going to lose this beautiful fern
?”

Then I saw the problem — inside the walls of the
chapel, the plant wasn’t getting enough light. So I
moved it so it would get full exposure to the overhead
light, and I opened the window blind so
natural light came in. And do you know, by the
very next day that fern had perked up and looked
healthy and full of life again.

The Lord really used that incident to speak to
my heart about the importance — and the power
— of light in our spiritual lives. When we begin to
flounder, to feel wilted, weak, and listless, it’s a
sure indication that we need to draw nearer to the
light. The vitality and strength we enjoy in our
lives come from the Light of the world — from
Jesus Christ, our Saviour.

I love the beautiful description of the Apostle
John, who wrote, In him was life; and the life was
the light of men…. That was the true Light, which
lighteth every man that cometh into the world

(John 1:4,9).

Drawing near the light

We know that light attracts! And when Christ
was on the earth, multitudes were drawn to Him.
When He walked through a village, throngs of
people would press around Him, wanting to see
and be near Him.

A man named Zaccheus climbed a tree to catch
a glimpse of that Light. When he saw Jesus, his
life was transformed. The darkness in his soul was
illuminated by God’s Light and he became a new
and different person.

A woman who had suffered for many years
pressed through the crowd, reaching out to touch
just the hem of His garment. She knew something
miraculous would happen — she would be healed
— if she could get close enough to the Light. The
Bible record tells us that’s exactly what happened
— she was wonderfully restored and made whole.

We’re told that even little children were drawn to
the presence of Jesus. Tugging at His robe,
climbing up on His lap, they felt secure in the light
of His love. There’s just something about light that
drives out fear and brings confidence and
assurance.

What a privilege you and I have to have Christ’s
light in our lives, to bask in the warmth of His
presence every day. We have the opportunity to be
touched by Him. We can see Him and hear His
words as we read His Word. We can have personal
fellowship with Him as we kneel in prayer. All
these are practical ways to stay close to the Light
and keep His life welling up in us.

Just as the fern plant I put in the chapel began
to wilt and its leaves turn yellow from lack of light,
so our lives can lose their zest and energy if we
move too far away from God’s light. We must never
forget that everything good in our lives comes
from Him.

The Apostle James said, Every good gift and
every perfect gift is from above, and cometh
down from the Father of lights, with whom is no
variableness, neither shadow of turning
(James 1:17).

Don’t miss the message in the last part of this
verse. James says there is no variableness in God
— He never changes. So if the light in your life
dims, it is not God who has gone away from you!
Have you gradually moved away from God — out of
the direct beams of His love and power?

Step out of the shadows

Next, James says there is no shadow of turning
with God. Do you know what causes a shadow?
Something comes between you and the source of light!

Is there a shadow in your life today? Then find
what has come between you and the Lord. Could
it be materialism, caring more about this world’s
goods and “things” than eternal values? Could it
be a person — perhaps you’re in love with a person
who is not God’s choice for you. Maybe the object
between you and the Lord’s Light is your own
desire to be successful.

Could it be that you’ve allowed indifference,
resentment, or a critical, judgmental spirit to
come between you and God and cast a shadow
over your life?

Take a look at your life today. Don’t wait too
long! Without a daily infusion of the power of
God’s Light, the vibrant colors of your life will
begin to fade. Your zeal and energy to witness for
Him will wither. Your desire to be all that He wants
you to be will shrivel away.

Remember, just going to church is not enough if
you keep an “umbrella” over you to block out the
light. My beautiful fern would have died just as
dead inside the chapel as it would have inside a
cellar — without the power of the light! When I let
in the light, my plant was fully restored. And the
Light of God will do the same for our lives.

But that’s not all. We are so much more important
to God than a fern plant. His plan for us is so
exciting and fulfilling.

You can be God’s light

As we continue to draw near to His light, something
wonderful happens. We begin to glow and
radiate His light until it shines on others still
living in darkness. Our lives can be beacons,
drawing precious souls to Christ. This gives
purpose and meaning to our living.

Jesus himself said to us, Ye are the light of the
world…. Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works, and glorify
your Father, which is in heaven
(Matthew 5:14,16).

You may feel that, even at your best, your light is.
too small to be of much use. But it isn’t. In the
gathering darkness of the world around us, even a
candle can be seen. And as we work together for
the Lord, combining our efforts and our resource,
to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission in these last
days of time, the power of God’s light will shine
through us and reach into the darkest corners of
the earth.

Oh, I want to help light up the world for Jesus,
don’t you? My heart goes out to people who still
walk in darkness, even in the United States and
Canada, as well as in other nations. There is such
sadness and despair, such confusion and deception.
Men and women live under heavy burdens.
Young people face peer pressure and temptation.
It seems that Satan has launched an all-out
assault on mankind.

I understand full well what the Apostle Paul
meant when he wrote that we live in the midst of a
crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye
shine as lights in the world
(Philippians 2:15).

If ever there was a time for us to draw near God’s
light, it’s today. If ever the people of the world
needed someone to lead them out of darkness into
the marvelous light of our Lord and Saviour, it is
now. If ever any Christians had the opportunity —
and obligation — to win the world for Christ, you
and I do.

In the words of a beloved old gospel song —

“There’s a call comes ringing o’er

the restless wave,

Send the Light, send the Light,

There are souls to rescue, there

are souls to save,

Send the Light, send the Light!”

God help us to hear that call today and to do all
we can, give all we can, be all we can to send the
light of the gospel.

God help us to SHINE!

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