It has been a good season for solar lights!! We, along with most of the Northwest, have had a hot, sunny, dry spring and summer thus far, with daily highs from 95-108 (yesterday registered 108!). It is hard to keep lawns, flowers and vegetable gardens alive. For many, it is a serious problem as they are depending on hay and grain crops and no longer have water available for irrigation so are dependent on getting rain, which is still not in the forecast. Or, they have livestock which needs food and water and shelter from the intense heat. Today was to be our chance of a little rain, and that came but not even in a measurable amount. It just raised the humidity for the remainder of today and the temperature is already back above 90 degrees. But, our solar lights sure like it! We have quite a variety of them scattered around and come dark, which isn’t until 11 p.m. or so this time of year here, they really shine, having soaked up all that energy from the sun during the day.
I am reminded of how, as believers, we are a bit like those solar lights, absorbing energy from the “Son” so that we can shine brightly when it becomes dark. Well, It seems we are getting more and more opportunities to do that as our society continues to grow darker and darker spiritually. The Supreme Court decision last week to approve homosexual marriages is just an example of how far and how fast we are spiraling downward away from biblical, moral, traditional, Christian values. We have seen a rapid erosion in the rights of Christians in this nation, especially in the past six years. It is mind boggling how quickly we have moved away from a place where God can bless our nation as He has in the past. (“”Blessed is that nation whose God is the LORD”…Psa. 33:12).
As we approach our 4th of July Celebration this coming weekend, I can’t help but think of how difficult it is to handle freedom. A picture of that is seen in our military. Our men and women in uniform are fighting to protect our freedoms, while they themselves aren’t free to openly express their faith in Jesus Christ. They can be court-martialed for sharing verses from the Bible or telling others about their relationship with Jesus Christ—wow! Somehow there are those who have come to believe that freedom comes from removing all the restraints on those who wish to express their ungodly, non-biblical lifestyles (see Ps. 2:3), but to suppress any who speak out against them or express a Christian viewpoint. Now is that a double standard when it comes to free speech or what?!
But the good news is, the darker it gets, the brighter our light for Jesus shines (just like the solar lights in our yard). We are hearing amazing testimonies of those who are shining their lights for Jesus, no matter the dark circumstances in which they are. We have stories of Christian bakers, Christian florists, military personnel, and missionaries who are standing up for Jesus when it would be so much easier to just compromise their Christian convictions and back off and blend in and be tolerant and politically correct. Praise God for those who are “daring to be Daniels!”
Because of decisions made by our Administration and by the Supreme Court and Congress over the past few years, it is going to become harder and harder for those who wish to openly live out their Christian lives—which all believers are to do. But, it also means that our lights will shine even brighter, provided, of course, that we are exposed enough to the Son that we have the spiritual energy to do so. It is going to be more and more important to be in close fellowship with the Lord to keep our light shining brightly. If we start to give up, thinking “What’s the use,” or “Jesus is coming soon, we’ll just bide our time and coast on home,” then we will start blending right into our dark surroundings instead of being lights in the darkness of our world. I think of a verse concerning a couple of Jesus’ disciples, Peter and John, recorded for us by Luke in Acts 4:13. He wrote: “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were marveling, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.” Their lights shone brightly during the darkness of persecution, because they had spent time being exposed to the Son. That’s the key.
Jesus challenged His followers—us included—saying, “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” (Mt. 5:16). Now, that doesn’t mean that if we stand up for Christ and His Word, that everyone around us will cheer and glorify Jesus in response, but it will give them an opportunity to do so. It will open the door to God bringing them to faith. Some may respond that way while others may jeer, boo and cause us grief or even physical harm. But that is between them and God. Remember, Jesus also said, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If your were of the world (compromised your beliefs to appease), the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you…In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (Jn. 15:18,19; 16:33).
It is easy to be discouraged, confused, and angry at what is taking place in our country, but also keep in mind that it is giving us as believers an opportunity to be the witnesses we were intended to be. When things are easy, peaceful, and comfortable for us as Christians to “do our thing,” we can become complacent and apathetic and forget we need to totally depend on God. Our tendency is to become spiritually lazy. Well, I believe we have been receiving wake up calls. It is time for us as believers to be the salt and light we are called to be (Mt. 5:13-16). Just make sure you have lots of exposure to the Son and your light will be shining brightly no matter what comes—in fact, because of what comes!