Written by Harry Dixon Loes in the 1920s, “This Little Light of Mine” echoes the words of Jesus:
“Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14)
Igniting the world
If we look at the word “light” in the Greek, it is “phōs,” referring to anything emitting light, such as rays, a fire, light, or a lamp. It can also mean knowledge or truth that is publicly known or declared.
Let’s consider it this way: we are the fire that ignites the world, declaring truth, and together, we cannot be hidden.
Like a city on a hill, it simply isn’t possible for followers of Christ to remain concealed when we start fires in response to the darkness because we draw others to our light.
Nonetheless, sometimes, we hesitate to share our testimonies. Other days, we talk ourselves out of proclaiming the gospel or perhaps, we question the impact of our words.
We wrestle with thoughts such as:
“Will my story make a difference?”
“What should I do with this little light of mine?”
Bringing glory to the Father
Jesus taught us that:
“Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light unto all that are in the house.” (Matthew 5:15)
The purpose of the candle is not to adorn a centerpiece or remain on the wall as a block of cold wax. If elaborately designed, its beauty is not in its shape or form, but in its ability to produce light and heat.
Note: It’s the light that attracts attention, not the candle itself.
We do not succumb to the sin of desiring the fickle, cold, and empty praise the world offers, because our lights testify to the existence of a beautiful Creator who seeks intimacy with us.
Ultimately, our good works bring glory to our Father in Heaven (Matthew 5:16).
God can use our pain to start fires
Much like the candle, birthing light requires that we die in the process, and that’s the key (John 12:24).
The goal is to relinquish the story we’ve written for our lives to journey in the one Christ wrote before we were born (Ephesians 2:10; Jeremiah 1:5).
However, at times, we can perceive our hardships as punishments when we forget that the walk with Christ involves pain.
Jesus told us:
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Jesus would remind us that when we walk through troubles and trials, it’s so that we are capable of comforting others with the same comfort we received from God (2 Corinthians 1:4).
A moment of reflection
As at the beginning of creation, God shone His light into our hearts, thus giving us the knowledge of His glory in the face of our Beloved, Jesus Christ. We are carriers of such beauty in earthly vessels so that when God’s power is displayed, the credit is His and not ours. (2 Corinthians 4: 6-7).
Nothing is too difficult or wonderful for our God (Genesis 18:14), and He can use our pain to start fires because our trials were designed to light our lives (see 2 Corinthians 4:8-11).
We rest assured knowing that God will light our candles: the LORD our God will enlighten our darkness (Psalm 18:28)
How can we be sure of this?
A call to SHINE
Take, for example, Peter. He couldn’t have imagined that betraying Jesus three times, would one day cause him to strengthen other followers of Christ (Luke 22:32). What was the result of his pain?
That experience built within him resolve to never return to the ways of sin. From his lesson, we too can take courage that all things work for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28).
We take courage because:
- Jesus redeemed us.
- Our past doesn’t define us.
- The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob calls us by our names b (Isaiah 43:1).
So, we sing:
“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!”