I was darkness. It's not that I was merely IN darkness, or surrounded by darkness. But my very being was made up OF darkness, composed of darkness. It's not a place that I was in, it was matter I was made of.
But now, I am light! I haven't simply been relocated into a brighter place. I don't just live in light, reflect light, or enjoy light. But I AM light! The very core of who I am has been converted and transformed. Every fiber of my being has not been covered by light, but has been remade into light! This is not something I put on or soak in. It's something I exude, something that radiates from the inside out. It's not something I work to do, it's who I am! It's not a task, or a duty, it's a state of being.
I know many people who claim to be believers, and who put SO much work into trying to let their little light shine. They try so very hard to do and say the right things. They labor and toil to look like light. But it's not meant to be a burdensome or cumbersome task. Being a Christian, truly, is not tiresome. It's not exhausting. It's not an unending output or constant effort. It's an easy yoke, a light burden (pun intended).
Light doesn't combat darkness, or try to fight to fight off shadows. It just is. And the darkness has no choice but to leave. Light does't struggle to travel at a certain speed, or accomplish something. It simple is what it is, and so it travels, and it warms, and it exposes, and it clarifies and beautifies. But all of this is the natural result of it simply being light.
Matthew 5:14 tells us that you and I, us believers, we are the light of the world. We are a city on a hill for all to see, a city whose mere existence is visibly hope-giving and dark-diffusing. It doesn't command us to try and shine, it just reminds us of who we are.
We live in a dark and discouraged world. A world looking for hope, looking for answers, looking for light. Rather than condemning yourself for not shining enough, or beating yourself up for failing in some way. STOP. Receive the light of God's grace. And be changed. Be transformed. It's powerful. It's miraculous. It's real.
Let's be that city on a hill. Let's color the night with the light of Christ's grace, love and hope. Let's simply surrender to Him, and let His light shine through. You and I cannot muster light. We can't create it. But we can BE it. It's a core-level issue, not a surface issue. Stop trying so hard, let the grace and mercy of God touch you on the heart-level, and watch as you begin to radiate the gleam of heaven through your words and countenance. It will not only astound you, it will captivate those around you, those in need of a glimpse of light today.
It's a simple miracle of grace. Stop trying. Start being. The world is waiting. Let's light it up!