Remember that little song children sing in Sunday School: “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine… Let it shine. Let it shine. Let is shine?”
Here’s more: “Won’t let Satan put it out. I’m going to let it shine…”
“Hide it under a bushel. No! I’m going to let it shine…”
I love songs about light. Perhaps it’s because I’ve battled the darkness of depression for much of my life. Satan is always trying to drag me back into the dark of negative thinking. He attempts to drown me in my negative emotions. But I’m learning to live in the light much more of the time, and it is a wonderful thing.
When I looked up my name in a baby book years ago this is what I discovered: Elaine is a derivative of Helen which means bearer of light. I embrace that as a goal for my life and as a goal for this new year. I want the light of Christ to shine brighter in me and through me than it ever has before. As a writer and speaker, I feel privileged to have the opportunity to reach out to those who are in darkness to give a word of encouragement—to shine my light.
Each one of us can shine our lights into someone’s dark world—even if we feel that we are in darkness ourselves. Sometimes that is what keeps me going during hard times—to be able to reach out to others and give hope even when I’m battling hopelessness in certain situations.
Lately when I’ve been thinking of “light,” the word “highlight” comes to mind.
What is the highlight of your day? is the question I used to ask patients during what we called the summation group—a group time where patients reviewed what happened that day and told if they met their goals.
When I’d ask, “What was the highlight of your day?” some patients couldn’t think of one good thing that happened, and they’d say, “I didn’t have one.”
Lately I’ve been writing down the highlights of 2013. I do this at the end of each year or the beginning of the new year as I reflect on all that I have to be grateful for in the previous year.
Here are just a handful of the many highlights I wrote in my journal under a heading of: “Thank You, Lord, for”:
My visit with two friends from Michigan I haven’t seen in awhile.
Being reconnected with my best friend from high school.
My travels– which I listed.
My visits with my parents and other family members.
Making it through another year on my job.
The privilege of another year as a radio host and blogger.
Improving in guitar-playing and singing.
New songs I’ve written and started.
My counselor, John.
The healing that has taken place in our marriage.
My husband, Steve’s, continued love for me.
Special times with my daughters and granddaughter (I named some.)
My continuing friendships with…and I named names.
I want to keep track of my highlights daily now. It’s too easy to get into a negative frame of mind. When that happens my light tends to go out, and then I can’t shine it for others to see. I need to see the light, so I can be the light.
Jesus shines light into my darkness, but sometimes I just can’t see it. That’s because I’m too busy looking at my problems.
Here is my goal spelled out in Scripture:
Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 AMP
Will you join me in letting our lights shine?
Here is the link to a song that inspires me to let my light shine. It is “Pushing Back the Dark” by Josh Wilson.
To hear more about “Letting Your Light Shine” listen to my radio show, “Hearts Set Free with Elaine” on Sunday, January 11, 2014 at 9:00am EST. Go to www.wtis1110.com and click on “Listen Live.” Or listen later in the archives. To do that, go to www.wtis1110.com and click on “shows.” Scroll down to “Hearts Set Free” and click. Go to the bottom right of my website to see the list of archived shows and click on the one you’d like to listen to.