I live in New England. I grew up here, so sometimes I don’t always appreciate the special things we have in this area the way I should. One of the things people love about New England is our lighthouses. We love to visit them, explore them, and climb in them. We don’t always think about what they are made for, and the purpose they serve.
I recently looked up the purpose of a lighthouse. There are two main purposes. Lighthouses are to serve as a navigational aid to help them know the right and safe way to go. When the storms are turbulent, or the fog is covering the sky, it makes it hard for them to see and navigate. They also warn boats of dangerous areas. They are like traffic signs on the sea.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 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. ” Matthew 5:14-16
We are like a lighthouse.
“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in the darkness but will have the Light of life.” John 8:12
I took some time to read these passages. In one, it says that we are the light of the world. The next one is saying that Jesus is the light of the world. I sat for a little while asking the Holy Spirit to speak to my heart. He gave me a picture of the lighthouse. Without Jesus, I am that lighthouse without a bulb or a light. Without Jesus, I am walking in darkness, and there is no way to be a light to others that way.
We are the light of the world because Jesus is in us.
When we are taking time to cultivate our relationship with Jesus and to grow with Him, our light shines bright. We to become navigational aids for those around us, those who are going through some tumultuous times, and who find themselves stuck in rocky places. We become those who warn those around us about dangerous spots and places in this life and we walk with them out of the threatening places they find themselves in, because Jesus has done that for us.
If we are not taking time to build that relationship with Jesus, we find our lightbulb gets dim and our wattage low. We can’t be that navigational aid or that friend who pulls the other one up when they fall. We can ‘t do those things without Jesus.
During this heavy and challenging season of life, Jesus has been my lighthouse. I have found myself stuck in many rocky places. I have found myself crying out to God to stop sleeping and do something about the storm. God has met me there. I have drawn close to Him and sought Him through it, even when I have not been happy with Him or trusting Him, I kept following.
In the scriptures above it says, “He who FOLLOWS me will not walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”
I looked up the definition of follows. What does that really mean?
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines follow as :
- To go in or come after
- To proceed along the path
- To engage as a way of life
- To come after in order or rank or natural sequence
- To keep on’s attention fixed on
There are a few that are my favorites. We need to follow Jesus and engage with Him as a way of life. God desires obedience from us, from a heart that loves Him and wants to please Him. Keeping my attention fixed on Him has been the discipline of this season. He has pursued me and I want to pursue Him. He needs to know our relationship isn’t a one-sided deal. I know how I feel when that happens in relationships. It is not a great feeling and you begin to feel like the relationship is all about what the other person gets from you. I never want Jesus to feel that way.
How is the light in your lighthouse? Is it bright so those around you can see and navigate the storms and seas around them? Can they see the dangerous places they are headed towards or has it grown dim? Have you gotten caught up in doing for the Lord or checking off lists? Have you gotten stuck in that vicious cycle of striving for perfection on your own?
Take time to sit with Jesus. Let Him fill the oil in your lamp so you can burn bright again. Let’s pursue the light of the world so he can shine through us and others can find their way to Him.
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