The concept of A Shining Light is very simple. It comes from Matthew
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
So regardless of what you personally believe spiritually, I believe there are many hurting people in our world, and I would like to do what I can to help. Any help that is given or received should glorify God.
Just north or where I live is a cave called Mammoth Cave. While touring that cave when I was young, the tour guide brought us to a large opening within the cave and then told us to stand very still for just a few minutes. They turned off the lights in the cave and I experienced true darkness. It was so dark that I could hold up my hand, just two inches from my face, but I was unable to see it. It had a profound effect on me, to say the least. All I could think about was, what if I were blind and had to live this way all my life? The tour guide then turned on a small flashlight and you could see all around very clearly. You could see all the people on the tour, the surrounding walls of the cave. It was quite remarkable to see all that, with only a single light.
One light can make a big difference when it is dark all around you.
The darkness of the cave is a physical example of a very real darkness, but over the course of my life, I have also experienced darkness in a much different way.
Life can feel as dark as that cave many times. Circumstances come and you just do not feel that you have the knowledge or resources to overcome those circumstances and life can become very dark. Sometimes all you need is a word of encouragement from someone or a different way of thinking about your problem or situation. That word or small amount of help can shed light on everything around you enabling you to carry on with your life.
There are three major areas of my life that I have felt complete darkness.
- Spiritual Darkness
It appears that I am probably not alone. Most people seem to be very similar with regard to these areas in their life. Just this morning as I was writing this, I received an email about a young lady who went to the hospital for what she thought was a stomach virus only to find out that she had stage 4 colon and liver cancer. If you think that a cave is dark in the absence of all light, let me say that it is not near as dark as the darkness of being told you have a potentially fatal health issue.
These three areas of our life are generally woven together very tightly and can be compounded. Take the lady in the example above. I don’t know anything else about her other than this information that I received in the email, but just by seeing this email, I can just imagine the following:
In her mind, she is obviously considering what this means to her. Is she going to die? Is she going to be separated from those she has a relationship with such as a spouse, parents, children? If she does die, what does she believe spiritually? Is she just going to pass from this life and then that is the end or is there a heaven and hell? If there is a heaven and hell,where will she end up? If she has to go through some treatments, how will that affect her and her family financially? Will they loose all their savings? Do they have adequate health insurance?
All of these questions revolve around those three areas of life and can become darker than any cave or physical darkness you can experience.
The other thing that is true about these areas of your life is that you generally do not think about them much until they are threatened or there is some problem in that area of your life. We have a tendency to take them for granted and just assume that everything will be ok. So we stick our head in the ground and ignore the warning signs until many times it is too late.
I surely don’t have all the answers, but I have faced all of those questions and it is my goal to provide some amount of light in those areas for others. Hopefully you will be able to benefit from my experiences and use some of this information to bring light into your world then turn around and help others.