“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.”
Isaiah 60:1

When our Savior rose from the grave, His glorious light filled the darkness and brought hope to weary souls. Yesterday we celebrated Easter. I pray that today we remember to rise and shine God’s glory into the world around us. 

This is a tall order when many of us are doing all we can just to rise each day and meet the challenges facing us. How do we rise to the occasion and shine the light of Christ into the lives of others when we feel life’s shadows pressing upon us? 

First, we simply rise. We open our eyes, crawl out of bed, and look up. Do you see the empty cross? The empty tomb? Because the implement of death and the resting place of the dead no longer hold the body of Christ, we can know with certainty that “the glory of the Lord has risen” upon us. 

Next, we shine. Thankfully, we aren’t called to shine our own light but to reflect the light of Jesus. Jesus is the Sun, we are moons reflecting that light back onto the earth. Sometimes we shine like the full moon, we are in just the right place at the right time and God’s glory is seen by everyone around us. At other times, we feel the shadow of the earth covering us and the light dims to a sliver. At our darkest hour, we feel like the new moon and wonder what happened to the light. 

Do you notice that you can still distinguish the outline of the new moon in the dark expanse of the sky? It is still there, waiting for the shadow to pass and for the sun’s radiance to once again reflect off its surface. Slowly the shadow fades and light begins to return. It’s ok if you aren’t experiencing a full moon phase all the time. Keep facing the Son and your light will shine because His light never fails to rise.

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12

As followers of Jesus, we are called to rise and walk with Him. We will never walk in darkness, but God may not light up the whole path for us. In my experience, He rarely shows us the whole path, just the next step. 

During one of my darkest periods, I felt like I was running toward a cliff in the pitch blackness. I knew the edge of the cliff was ahead of me but I didn’t know when I’d reach it. It was terrifying and fear tried to paralyze me. But even in total darkness, I had no doubt that I was following Jesus. I knew I was obeying His voice as I headed into the darkness. I was also sure that when I came to the cliff’s edge one of two things would happen: I would fall and Jesus would catch me or He would teach me to fly. 

Even in the crushing darkness of that season, I knew the light was with me. I couldn’t see the next step and didn’t know where it would lead, but I caught sight of the direction I needed to go. While I didn’t step confidently into that dark future, I did follow my Savior into the unknown. And that, my friend, is what it means when Jesus says we will always have the light of life. Even when we can’t see the light, He’ll show us the path we need to take. We can have confidence that He is with us, He keeps His promises faithfully, and He’ll catch us if we fall. 

How did my story end? Well, I guess I both fell and learned to fly. Jesus caught me at the cliff’s edge and lifted me up out of the pit of depression and anxiety. That season was one of the most difficult, darkest, and debilitating times of my life. But I discovered how to trust Christ more completely because of it. I didn’t shine much, but I did rise each day. 

No matter what your current season looks like, RISE. Look to Jesus and His light will be reflected in your life as He teaches you to shine with His glory. When you are in a full moon season, shine brightly and rejoice in God’s goodness and grace. The world will thank you for it. 

When you are in a new moon season, remember that the world can still see you. They may find themselves drawn to the sliver of light simply because they too are in a dark season. Your struggles look like their struggles, and that may be just the kind of light they need in order to find their way to Jesus.

Rise, shine, and let those sparks of light radiate God’s love into the world.

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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.