By Kevin Cauley
On our recent trip to Maine, we had the opportunity to see several lighthouses. One we were able to visit up close as it was located within the boundaries of the national park and accessible by car. This particular lighthouse was not one of the tall, stately, and grand lighthouses that one is accustomed to think about when considering lighthouses, but rather, a shorter light. There were several of these lighthouses around the island on which we stayed. The tallest of the light houses around was out on another island inaccessible by car far out in the sea on Baker Island. These various light houses reminded me of the song, “Let the Lower Lights Be Burning” written by Philip P. Bliss, 1871. The song is as follows:
Brightly beams our Father’s mercy
From His lighthouse evermore,
But to us he gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.
Dark the night of sin has settled,
Loud the angry billows roar;
Eager eyes are watching, longing,
For the lights along the shore.
Trim your feeble lam, my brother:
Some poor sailor tempest tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor,
In the darkness may be lost.
Let the lower lights be burning!
Send a gleam across the wave!
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.
The lyrics of the song are instructive to us today. God’s great grace, love, and mercy is the greater light which shines for all to see into the distant and far ocean of sin. He draws the lost from the great darkness that is around them and leads them toward the safety of harbor. Those souls, however, as they near shore need additional guidance to finally make it safely in. These “harbor lights” are what allows them to dock and set foot on shore. God is the greater light, but Christians are these lesser, harbor lights, who use the light which God gives them, through teaching and influence, to illuminate others to the safe shore.
What can we do for those around us who are in darkness and struggling to come to the shore? We can love them by extending help and aid to those approaching the shore. Matthew 22:39 states, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” We can provide the right example for those around us to encourage them to extend their lights to those in need of rescue. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul writes, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” We can keep our lights pure and holy so that they will shine bright and not grow dim. James 1:27 states, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
Jesus said in the great sermon on the mount, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16).
We have a choice before us. We can either let our light shine, or we can hide it. If we hide our light, then it does no one any good at all, including ourselves. However, if we let our light shine, then we have a great opportunity to glorify God. The few things listed above are just some things that one may do to let his light shine. There are many more. What are you doing to let your light shine? Find something, anything, that you can do to let your light shine and then SHINE!