This Little Light of Mine

One of my favorite times in church as a child, is when we would sing songs in our Sunday school.  Often, we would perform one as a special for the congregation before the preaching service began.  These children’s church songs usually had hand gestures or other body movements to go along with the words, signifying the ideas in the verses.  I particularly loved, This Little Light of Mine.  The version we sang went like this:

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel, NO, I’m gonna let it shine

Hide it under a bushel, NO, I’m gonna let it shine

Hide it under a bushel, NO, I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Not let Satan blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine

Not let Satan blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine

Not let Satan blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Let it shine till Jesus comes, I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine till Jesus comes, I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine till Jesus comes, I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

When we sang the second verse, Hide it under a bushel, we held the index finger of one hand straight up (our light) and we’d cup our other hand over our light.  Then, as soon as we got to, NO, we quickly removed our cupped hand to expose our light.   In the third verse, we never used the word blow – yes, you’re right – we would blow fiercely on our finger.   It was all very serious.  Our movements were deliberate and well timed.  We were very professional.

Hide It Under A Bushel

It pains me to tell you that I was hitting the backside of 40 before I truly understood the depth of the words I sang with joy thousands of times in my childhood.

To my great dismay, I have spent most of my Christian life with my hand cupped over my light.

Hidden under a bushel.

Where few could see even the faintest glow.

And this pleased that great dragon, Satan.  I have brought him much happiness with my ill-spent life, for it is his only purpose to remove those he cannot have in eternity – Christians – as far away from God as he can possibly get them.  My archaic beliefs about Christianity made it very easy for Satan to do his job.  I was very private about my Christianity.  I shared it with very few.  I kept it deep down inside where I thought it was safe from a wicked world full of lost souls.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a horrible person with a reprobate mind, but I wasn’t the person God meant for me to be.

The love of Jesus that was shed abroad in my heart was crying to get out.  My light desperately wanted to shine.

Just How Far Can You See?

You know, the human eye is a powerful, powerful organ.  It can detect the flame from just one candle at 30 miles away.  30 miles!  That seems unbelievable, but it’s true.  Google it!  30 miles.  One Christian, just one, all alone, fearlessly letting their light shine can effect tens of thousands of people within that 30 mile radius.  Think of it!

Now ponder this…how far your eye can see depends on how many particles of light the object you are looking at emits.  (Those particles of light are called photons for all our smarty-pants out there!)  The farthest object from earth that is visible to the naked eye is the Andromeda Galaxy.  It’s only 2.6 million light years away!  Let me put that in miles for all my American friends…that equals 15 quadrillion 34 trillion miles.  In case that doesn’t make any sense to you, I’ll write it out: 15,340,000,000,000,000.  And yes…you can see it with your own two eyeballs, no telescope needed.  To put that in perspective for you – the moon is only 238,900 miles from earth.

So, if that one lone Christian can be seen from 30 miles away, think how far away a group of Christians can be seen.  What about a whole herd of Christians?

The Light of the World

The Bible uses the word “LIGHT”, 272 times (KJV).  Compare that to the word “BELIEVE”, 143 times (KJV), and “HELL”, 54 times (KJV).  Jesus Himself said He was the light of the world in John 8:12:

Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”

Look how He tells us to live our lives in Matthew 5:14-16:

You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden.  No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lamp stand, and it gives light for all who are in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
You see my friends, without the light…there is only darkness.  Darkness is only a condition void of light.  We cannot see darkness.  We know that it is dark, because we do not perceive any light.  We only see light.

We only SEE light.

Let me say that one more time for the people in the back…

We.  Only.  SEE.  LIGHT!

Still, as a people, darkness envelopes us.  It oppresses us.  It smothers us.  We find ourselves lost in it, afraid, apprehensive about what secrets it holds.  Yet, with the tiniest flicker from the smallest flame, the darkness recoils.  It flees to the corner of the room, attempting to hold its ground.  Having no choice, with nowhere else to hide, it must surrender to the power of the light.  Hope enters through light.

No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lamp stand.  We are to let our light shine for the whole world to see, because so much of the world believes they only see darkness!  Christians must show them the truth…we only see light.  This reality is what helped me understand that I couldn’t keep my light hidden any more.  I want the whole world to see the light within me is Jesus Christ.  Brothers and sisters in Christ, show the world your light!  Do NOT let Satan blow it out.

Never doubt the power of the light that is within you.  Light wants to shine.  It wants to radiate across the terrain and invade every nook and cranny.  It wants to fill the world with joy.  It wants to bring hope.

Light knows the way to eternal life…it’s through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Show this to the world!  Let us unite, lights shining bright, and may our illumination radiate to the Andromeda Galaxy and beyond.

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