Don’t hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father.”
Grief has a way of stripping you and leaving you quite vulnerable. I watched my friend be stripped bare through family loss, the death of several close friends, and then ministry loss that came through my decision. I watched the light drain from her face when she no longer had a ministry position to fill amidst the already great loss she was wading through. She was not only lost, but hurt and confused. Like a mother who sends her last child off to school and feels a great loss of purpose and destiny, she too was living in a puddle. She walked around as if blindfolded simply seeking to find the next place to put her feet.
She continued to attend the ministry gatherings, smiling and pretending everything was okay, but it just wasn’t. Her heart was broken to pieces and it was painful to see someone else doing what she loved to do. It was awkward to just participate when she had been a part of birthing the ministry. All of us were walking in the unknown, but trusting that God knew what we didn’t understand. We just had to hold on to Him and trust.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
But God had a different plan that we are just beginning to see unfold. He is always underneath it all, working out His good plan. We just have to trust Him to work it all out in His time.
One year later you will find her working at “The Lighting Studio”. She will be making delightful conversation, helping the next customer, decorating, organizing or selling. She is a gift to the fairly new business in town because she herself carries a great light within. The light is coming back into her eyes because it never left. It was just covered underneath all the grief, loss, hurt and misunderstanding.
Her new story-telling makes her come alive. Her excitement comes through the phone and her words run together like a string of twinkling lights telling of the joy of the God encounter with a new friend. Right there in the middle of the lighting store, they share hearts and make a connection that could only be God. I get to witness the brilliance of the glory of the Lord as she recaptures the story just for me.
Just a couple of weeks later she shares the joy of the success of the surprise family birthday party. She pulled off a great surprise for her Dad’s 80th and there was nothing but joy rattling across the phone. My room lights up and I am not even in her presence.
She calls to tell me of yet another God encounter. The woman came into the store heavy-hearted, but left encouraged and blessed. Stories were shared along with many tears. She was brave to step into the uncomfortable asking if she could pray for this precious customer. They embraced and the presence of God fell and lit up the store with a much greater glow than the lights hanging from the ceiling and walls. They both stood amazed by the sweet presence of God.
And then just like that, a new light switched on for her. She no longer has to have a ministry position, a desk, a task or a title. She doesn’t have to be decorating a wall or organizing anything. She just shows up to the world each day and walks in His light. As she does, His glory shines through her as she touches hearts with the love of Jesus.
And isn’t this the light bulb moment we all need?
Stop waiting on a special calling or assignment.
Endure in the dark of the night allowing Him to do His work in your heart, knowing that a new day is coming.
Let His light shine every day and everywhere showing His glory to a dark world.
“I love you, my light bearing friend. Welcome back!”