Do you ever light a candle in the daytime? Some people do, and you may notice its flame flickering as you pass by, but it doesn’t necessarily seem all that bright.
However, when it is dark, a single candle can make all the difference in the world, and it is definitely noticed by everyone who is around it.
One time many years ago, I went on a cave tour, where we were guided deep down inside a cave, winding this way and that through the narrow passageways. Eventually, we reached a large room, and the guide said, “Now here is something you don’t often get to experience: total darkness.” And then he turned off all of the lights in the cave. You could not see anything, no matter how hard you tried, because the light from outside could not penetrate that deep into the cave.
But then, the guide lit a single match, and suddenly we could see again. That small amount of light from that one match seemed to fill the entire room. That one light that would otherwise seem rather dim was definitely welcome when there were no other sources of light around.
When we let our lights shine for God, as Jesus told us to do in Matthew 5:16, it is easy to do when we are around others who are doing the same. Perhaps this is because we can sort of blend in with all of the other lights that are around, contributing to the total light while not having to do it all by ourselves.
Things are sometimes different when we find ourselves in the darkness, though. Just as it was easy to let our light blend in with the other light, sometimes it is easier to hide in the darkness. We too often give in to the temptation not to let our lights shine when things around us are dark. But just as that match in the cave made all the difference in the world, so too can we make all the difference as Christians when we are surrounded by spiritual darkness.
Be sure to keep shining your light in the darkness, whether that darkness is some serious illness, a difficult family situation, an un-Christian work environment, or any other negative situation where you feel that no one else is seeking out God’s will.
Keep doing what you know is right. You do not necessarily have to preach a sermon to the others around you, but you can preach a silent sermon by your actions and by your words. While that is easy to do in friendly surroundings, it will be all the more noticed in those dark situations, and it may be just what someone else needs to see.
Let your light shine for God, especially when things around you seem dark.