light (noun): something that makes vision possible, enlightens, or shines 

giving (verb):  extending, conveying, making a present of 

“…Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night…”  Philippians 2:15

I watch the news and I want to rant and scream and cry and find fault. The negativity and fear closes in and darkens my heart. I want to help but I don’t know how. I want to make life better for people, to ease their suffering, to change things for the better.

But what can I–what can we–do?

I know a couple of things:

1.     It’s dark out there, and everyone is trying to find their way.

2.     We have a light-giving message to offer.

Jesus wants us to bring light–his light–to everyone. He wants people to get a glimpse of him when they see us.

So when we focus on the problems, dwell on the things going wrong, and complain, we are stress-giving, not light-giving.

When we criticize, blame, or act disappointed, we are guilt-giving, not light-giving.

When we give in to the temptation to gossip, when we get jealous, and when we cope in unhealthy ways that keep us feeling far away from Jesus, we are hurt-giving, not light-giving.

Carrying the light-giving Message of Jesus doesn’t mean that we have to pretend that everything is perfect. Or act happy and smiley all the time.

But what it does mean is that we have the power of Jesus inside of us with plenty to share. He is shining on us and through us–this incredible light burning inside each of us as we walk through this dark world. With his creativity and faithfulness, we can make a difference. At any moment, we can light a candle of hope in the midst of despair, ignite a fire of transformation in a hardened soul, or pull back the shades–allowing the warmth of the Son to redeem a mistake or heal a heart.

What a brilliant gift we can extend to our friends (and ourselves) in the dark.

Invite Him in: Let his light shine on you and in you today. The darkness is heavy and defeating, but his love and hope burns brighter. Ask him to light your way to the people who need him today and trust him to make a difference. He is the light of the world.