by Carol McCracken
… let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 NIV
At last, the position of acolyte was mine. My twelve-year-old self held the candlelighter aloft while clothed in the white robe. I wore my brand-new shoes: the high styling authentic clogs that were all the rage that season.
It took weeks for me to convince my mother to drive over to Eskill’s clog shop, which was just over the state line in Pennsylvania. She bought me those clogs with a slight roll of her eyes, even after she watched me clump around in the wooden shoes with no back to them. She was a kind mamma who understood my deep-seated need to fit in.
I stepped down in the historic all wood church and slid right out of my clog. Ungracefully, I tried to recover as the church members held their breath while my flame whipped ever closer to wood in all directions. Mortified, I finally managed to light the actual candles and slinked over to my seat, the echoes of clogging steps finally quieted.
This was not how I intended to let my so-called light shine. I wanted to serve the Lord and glorify him in style. Not set everyone and everything on fire. The song from my Sunday School days about letting my light shine came to mind:
“All around the neighborhood, I’m going to let it shine
Let it shine, all the time, let it shine.”
I was pretty certain a flaming church is not what God had intended, however much the surrounding neighborhood would have noticed.
Thank goodness God understands twelve-year-olds! Jesus was once one. I would have preferred to amaze as Jesus did at twelve. He impressed everyone with His knowledge when, after His family left for home, He remained at the temple. My spiritual capacity was not nearly the same.
Yet God knew my light would shine better as I matured. I just needed to work on my relationship with the source of that light. It was not light for my own honor. The light was not to shine on me, but shine through me. God taught me that while there was nothing wrong with accessorizing my robe with cute shoes, my purpose was not to spotlight myself. The purpose instead, was to worship Him in all His glory. For He alone is worthy.
God is light. Any good deed I performed, whether gracefully or ungracefully was merely a reflection of His light. As a Jesus follower, my life should be a testimony to those who do not yet have the light.
As we receive these moments of grace, may we be a reminder to each other of how to genuinely glorify God when we let our light shine.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Carol McCracken has been a Bible teacher for over twenty years. She currently serves on church staff as Adult Discipleship Minister. Her passion is to make the Bible come alive for women and connect it to a real relationship with Jesus Christ in today’s busy and demanding world. She is an AWSA and Destin Word Weavers member.
Carol is a contributor to ChristianDevotions.us, Arise Daily and Mustard Seed Ministries.
She published her book Wisdom: Where to Find It If You’ve Lost, Forgotten, Or Never Had It in November 2020. Connect with her at CarolMcCracken.com or on social media.
Join the conversation: How have you seen God’s light shine through others?