“If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday.”
Isaiah 58:10 (NKJV)
The light is different in springtime. Maybe it’s just me, but it feels softer, like a gentle whisper coaxing the new growth to the surface. Winter’s sunshine can melt the snow but isn’t strong enough to allow for vulnerable shoots to sprout, and summer’s sun can be a pounding hammer that crushes all in its path. The fall sun prepares us for the coming winter, it provides relief from summer and time to ready ourselves for another blast of winter.
When I think of the light of Christ, I think of the springtime sun. Gentle, coaxing, and full of promise. Because of spring’s light, we can step out of the dreary winter and become strong enough to persevere in the heat of summer.
The above verse in Isaiah asks us to be like the springtime sun. We extend our souls to them and the warmth of Christ reaches the hungry and afflicted. We gently shine God’s light on those who have had a hard winter and lovingly coax them to hope again. Our hands, our feet, our listening ears and open hearts, these are the tools God uses to reach the lost and hurting, the hungry and oppressed.
It isn’t easy. The verse clearly states that we extend our souls. This involves reaching beyond our comfort zone, stretching further than we might prefer, and leaning so far out that we chance losing our balance. It means depending on Jesus to hold on to us as we stretch our souls toward those who are beyond our reach. Extending our souls to others puts us in a vulnerable position. Unless of course we are anchored in Christ.
There is only one reason to follow this path of vulnerability: the joy of being a light to others. For when we allow Christ to shine through us, then our light holds the promise and hope of dawn and the darkness is as ineffective as a shadow at high noon. Others will be drawn to this light and find healing and restoration in the arms of Jesus.
As joy and hope fill your heart, you’ll naturally want to share it with others. Don’t let fear hold you back. Have that conversation, write that letter, post, or book, follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit and gasp at the results of God’s handiwork.
Though others may see the light through us, let’s remember that the light originates with God. It is His light that we follow and His light that we shine on others. We don’t seek followers, we seek to create more Jesus-followers. Jesus is the light and it is His light that leads others to salvation. It is His light that drives away the darkness. It is His light that opens hearts and minds.
What do we do when we face dark days of our own? We may be tempted to feel guilty or believe there is something wrong with us. After all, if we have the light of Christ within us and are trying to shine that light into the world, how can we feel lost and in the dark? Well, I have news for you, we’re all human and we’re all subject to the same emotional, physical, and mental struggles.
Having the light of the world within us doesn’t exclude us from trials of darkness, but it does provide the tools we need to emerge from the darkness with more faith, hope, trust, and fortitude than when we entered. It also opens doors for us to be the light for others who are in the midst of similar troubles. Sometimes we can reach out only because we’ve already been on the same difficult path another is currently traveling.
Wherever you are today, look to Jesus to light up your path, allow His Spirit to fill your soul, and then you’ll discover that His light shines through even when you aren’t trying. And if it can shine brightly without our effort, then imagine what God can do when we intentionally extend our souls toward the hungry and afflicted. Reach out and see how far into the darkness you can let your light shine.
May we extend our souls to others and be a welcoming light on their journey.
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I want to follow Jesus! How do I get started?
“This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.
1 John 4:13-15
If you are ready to join the family of God, simply believe and ask. You can choose your own words or pray the prayer below. God hears your heart, simply confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and let the Spirit lead you.
“Father, I want to be yours. Forgive me of my sins. I believe that you sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die in my place. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and thank you for the gift of salvation through Him. I invite the Holy Spirit into my heart and surrender my life to You. In Jesus name, Amen.”
Feel free to spend time just talking to God and sharing your heart with Him. Let Him speak to you and listen as He leads you forward into new life. Welcome to the family.
Need to talk or have questions? Feel free to reach out and contact me.