“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”
The words of this children’s gospel song, written in 1920 by Avis Burgeson Christiansen, are simple and their message far reaching. What child hasn’t sung it? What adult doesn’t remember it?
But the more important question: do we hold true to its mission?
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Matthew 5:16, KJV
Don’t Let Satan Snuff It Out
Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1–3, NIV
Time and again, our daughter, who has Down syndrome, came to a place in the hall, rose up on her toes, pressed her arms and back up against the wall, and sidestepped her way to the stairs. Unable to make sense of her repeated behavior, I asked her what she was doing. Aggravated with my intrusion, she huffed, ran upstairs, and kept the secret to herself.
After studying the floor for a few moments, I noticed it―a rectangle of light, cast from the landing above. A voice in my spirit whispered, “Not stepping into the light may be a game to her, but for many it’s a reality. Some choose to remain in the shadows, afraid that their evil deeds will be exposed.”
The first recorded words of God in Scripture were “Let there be light.” God spoke light into existence, separated it from the darkness, and saw that it was good. Sadly, many refuse to see God’s light as good.
Christians worldwide experience widespread persecution as oppositionists choose to walk in darkness. The persecution of those who profess faith in Jesus Christ is as old as Christianity itself, but never in my lifetime, has there been such hostility toward those who align themselves with Jesus and the truth of His Word as there is today. In over sixty countries, believers are beaten, beheaded, tortured, isolated, raped, imprisoned, enslaved, and put to death for engaging in unauthorized religious activity.
Christians in America undergo persecution on a much smaller scale, but daily we experience attacks on our freedom of worship and references to anything related to the name of Jesus.
Prior to the Beijing 2008 Olympics, a torch was lit in Athens, Greece, from the original flame of Olympia. Scheduled to reach the top of Mount Everest in Tibet after an 85,000-mile global tour, the 2.5-foot propane gas torch, weighing 2.2 lbs, lit thousands of torches along its route.
The purpose of China’s Journey of Harmony, was to unite people of different cultures around the world in friendship, harmony, and peace. But the journey was anything but harmonious. In city after city, protesters tried to extinguish the flame in objection to China’s fifty-year occupation of Tibet.
The Olympic relay bears an overwhelming resemblance to our spiritual journey. As we strive to carry the light of Christ throughout the world, many along the route try to snuff out His light in us. As athletes, we must endure, hold His light high, and pass it from one light-bearer to another so that unity between God and man will be restored.
Let it shine!