Ephesians 5:13-14

 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:  “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.”

One of the things I won't soon forget about my time with the American Cancer Society is the drive home after an overnight Relay event.  The overnight Relay experiences symbolizes the hard, dark road walked by a cancer patient followed by the hope that comes at the end of their journey.  Watching the sun rise after a long Relay event has always been a magical experience.  As the light spreads its way across the field, it warms the soul and brings with it a renewed spirit.  However the light does not take away the exhaustion, nor does it wipe away the experiences of the dark night.  Only when the light begins to break does one realize just how dark the night was before.

Photo taken at the Dodge County, Minn., Relay For Life, courtesy of the Post Bulletin, Rochester, Minn.

Its pretty easy to understand how something exposed to light becomes visible.  However its the second part of the verse I want you to see - how everything that is illuminated becomes light.

We all face dark times in our livesTimes where we walk in darkness, faced with situations that make us exhausted, and we wonder if we can even make it through.  But each and every time, we find the dawn that comes on the back side of a difficult journey..  

As God guides us through these times in our lives, he's creating an opportunity for us to be illuminated.  How?  By being an example of how he works in our lives, through not only good times, but also in the deep, dark valleys.  

We were never promised an easier path with our Christian walk.  His promise to always walk beside us, however, produces a testimony to share with others about God's grace, his mercy and his provision.  

A dark thing, illuminated.  Those oppressive times in our lives can become light for those who may follow behind us through the same valley.

I encourage you to not run from your dark times, but to embrace them as an opportunity to encourage others and to share the message of how Christ can change lives.    

John 15:16 says God CHOSE us so we could go forth and bear fruit - fruit that will last.  Fruit grows in the light, so go forth knowing that the dawn brings a new day and a new opportunity to share your message with another.  

You are illuminated!  How will you let yourself shine today?     


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