The Light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness did not understand it or overpower it or appropriate it or absorb it [and is unreceptive to it].
In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.
– Francis Bacon
A beam of God’s countenance is enough to fill the heart of a believer to overflowing. It is enough to light up the pale cheek of a dying saint with seraphic brightness, and make the heart of the lone widow sing for joy.
– Robert Murray McCheyne
Let us not ask of the Lord deceitful riches, nor the good things of this world, nor transitory honors; but let us ask for light.
– Assorted Authors
The fundamental principle of Christianity is to be what God is, and he is light.
– John Hagee
Christ cannot light a single spark in the heart of an individual, without that little tiny spark being for God. He gives the light, and has ordained that every ray of it is to reflect something for God.
– G.V. Wigram
Our family took a break from technology/social media for a week in October. It was so refreshing and honestly made me want to take more breaks from technology. During that time, Robbie and I began working on restoring an old chandelier that was in my grandparents’ house. It looked awful, but still worked and it had a lot of sentimental value to me. My grandparents passed away years ago and their house (owned by my parents now) is used for a rental.
The chandelier itself has a story behind it. The first house I ever remember living in had a chandelier that was identical to my Nanny’s. It hung over the dining/kitchen table and as a child I really didn’t think too much about it. I took all the sparkling crystals and warm, inviting light it radiated for granted. Most kids don’t think about appreciating all the irreplaceable moments, now memories, of family and friends gathering underneath the chandelier for holidays and birthday parties and meals. Life was sweet and warm and happy and oh so simple back then.
Back to my Nanny’s chandelier. Nanny liked the chandelier in our house so much that my parents decided to buy her an identical one for Christmas one year. It hung in the center of her formal living room until just recently for probably going on forty years. Now it was in her “formal” living room but there was nothing formal about it. What-nots and country ducks cluttered a coffee table and shelves along with a candy dish filled with strawberry candy and other treats. Country blue, deer heads, and assorted artwork and a mauve floral and cream-colored sofa and chair filled the room. Brownish rust-colored carpet covered the floor and faux wood paneling covered the walls. It was the first room you entered when you came to the front door. Many times when you came through that door my Papa, a Baptist minister, was sitting in a chair talking on a cream colored rotary dial phone plugged into the wall by that door. At Christmas we all piled into that small “formal” living room and listened to my Papa preach/talk about end times and then we opened a bushel of presents right there underneath the unnoticed chandelier all the while quietly twinkling beautifully and showering us with warm light as we made memories together with family.
Memories. So precious and irreplaceable. Held forever in my heart.
After both my Nanny and Papa had passed away, my family and I were cleaning out their house. As we were cleaning, I looked up at the chandelier hanging there. I realized how many precious moments had truly been shared underneath it, and I asked Daddy if I could have the chandelier. Daddy said I could and told me we would need to take it down before he rented Nanny and Papa’s house. Life got busy as it always does and somehow the old chandelier remained in the house and the new renter moved in. The renter happened to be a bachelor who smoked. So dust and a ton of smoke residue coated everything in the house including the chandelier. The chandelier still served it’s purpose as a light source although it became completely covered with layers and layers of dirt.
Fast forward ten years. The renter unexpectedly passed away. The house was in desperate need of cleaning and repair before it could be rented again. One day my mind went back to the chandelier. Was it still there? Had it been broken and replaced after all this time? If it was there, did it even work? So I asked Daddy about it. He told me it was still there and that I could have it. So the dirty, almost unrecognizable, chandelier was taken down and saved for me.
When I saw it, I was overjoyed. Yes, it looked awful and was covered in layers of smoke residue and grime, but it was still so special and valuable in my eyes.
As I looked at it, I began thinking how the chandelier is symbolic of us and our lives. We start out new, bright, shiny, and perfect, but then life happens. Difficulties come our way- sickness, broken relationships, etc. Sometimes even ongoing seemingly unfixable circumstances spanning decades walk into our lives and settle down for what seems like forever. We become covered with layers of stress, hurt, pain, sadness. We may even become unrecognizable. Pieces of us break off. We age. Life continues and we remain. Yet….we continue to shine.
The damage and pain of life while outwardly evident could never stop our inward, true purpose. Our value never decreases despite trials, difficulty, pain that life doled out. In fact, our value has probably increased like a beautiful, classic, antique. The refinery of life through Jesus has increased the value of our inward character. We were uniquely and beautifully created for such a time as this! To shine in this dark world which so desperately needs the light of Hope and Love- whose name is Jesus. Our purpose-our innate value-has never changed. It never will.
Looking at that old chandelier, I feel honored. Despite all the layers of dirt, it still remains purposeful. Nothing could change that. And when it is completely clean and all its crystals are sparkling and bright, it will shine even brighter than it did when it was new. I’ll treasure that chandelier even more because of its history and purpose. On days that I feel overwhelmed with life, it will be a forever reminder that my purpose remains unchanged. It will remind me to let Jesus’ light shine from within me at all times despite the circumstance. The chandelier will be a forever reminder that the light shines even brighter in the darkness.
I’m praying for you today, friends. If you are in the darkness of a hopeless situation or hard circumstance, know that your value has never, ever changed. It can’t change because it was given to you by your Father and Creator. Your purpose has never wavered despite what the enemy tries to tell you. If you feel lost, uncertain, or far away from God, ask the Lord to help you and reveal Himself to you. He would love nothing more than to meet you right where you are and remind you of your purpose and value.
When you seek Him you will find him.
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.