When You Just Need A Little Encouragement
I am obsessed with light. As a photographer I am always looking to see how it plays on my subjects. Even when I am trying to practice other skills in photography, like capturing shapes, I can't help but stop and shoot things like this tree branch and how the light penetrates its veins. Am I the only one that feels like this just grips my soul? My heart races with excitement when I see it. In these moments I feel a deep appreciation for God and the ability to see what He created. This is me in true worship.
Just like how the light glows through the green leaves of the branch, I as a Christian need to emulate the light of Christ. When others see His power working through our lives they won't be able to help but want to worship their Creator.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. - Matthew 5:16
So what does it even mean to spread the "light" of Christ? I like to think of it as being a form of encouragement. In my past I had a really hard time with staying positive. I experienced a lot of darkness and hopelessness. I used to ask God, "how come I am so naturally prone to this darkness?" I wanted to be positive and happy go lucky, but just couldn't seem to get it together.
The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light,but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! - Matthew 6:22-23
I realized that I was not healthy in my spirit and had to ask God for help. He encouraged me with little bits of light. Sometimes it was quite literal! I began to take pictures more and He helped to inspire me to see the light for what it really was. In turn, He showed me His promises and true hope. Once I experienced this, I couldn't help but want to share it with others. Since I had experienced a complete transformation from dark to light, I wanted others who were down and out to get what I had.
He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand?For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.- Mark 4:21-22
A few years after I experienced this complete change, God showed me that one of my spiritual gifts was to encourage. I was like, "What?" I had no idea. I realized in that moment that those experiences I had had in darkness weren't for not and that God was using them despite myself. I know how to empathize with someone who is experiencing the darkness. I now have the ability to see the way out and to share that with others who haven't seen God's beautiful light yet. I have a need to reach out to others because of my experience.
Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart,and good news gives health to the bones. - Proverbs 15:30
When we experience Jesus, His light shines through us. No matter how empty we feel at times, we can remember that God is what makes us shine. Not ourselves. Then when we are filled and recognize His power, we cannot help but worship and encourage one another.