Light, Both Near and Far

The light that shines farthest shines brightest near home. -C. T. Studd

I heard this quote a few months ago and have held on to it ever since. I instantly got a vivid picture of it and it was as if my soul instinctively knew the value of what was being said. Almost as immediately as I’d heard the words spoken, I reached out to capture them out of mid air. I grabbed at them, hastily, with both hands wide open and like the dove that Noah pulled into the ark, I drew them into the safe chambers of my heart. Then I whispered to the Lord, “Always, let this be true of me. That my light…however far You should allow it to shine…may it always be brightest near home.”

Try and picture this if you will. A lighthouse, shining across the ocean waves, hundreds of yards out. From far away, a sailor can spot it’s glow, even if dimly. Yes, it shines far. But as the sailor draws closer and closer, the light from that lighthouse should only get brighter and brighter as he gets closer to the source itself.

So should it be with us.

The closer people get to us, the brighter the light should shine. This requires living a life of integrity. Living a life free of duplicity. Being able to live a life of transparency (which is so freeing!) Not perfection, but real and true. “Blameless” as the Word of God instructs us to be.

Blameless doesn’t mean we’re going to be perfect. That doesn’t mean we’re never going to make mistakes. But it does mean that when God taps us on the shoulder, or we know there’s something we need to deal with…we do. We’re responsive. And it means that when others draw close and look “under the glass” they find the same person we portray to be “on the outside”.

Not sure why I felt led to share this tonight. But just know that tonight I was praying for us. For me, for you, for us as the body of Christ, that yes, our lights would shine bright. That they would shine far. That God would continue to grant us greater influence and expand our capacity to do more and love more. But more importantly, I pray that we would always prioritize making sure out lights are shining brightest near home. First, in the innermost parts of our being. Then, in our families, around our homes, and in our communities. And I pray that as others draw near to me and you, it would be said of us as the Queen of Sheba said when she finally came to visit King Solomon,

“It’s all true! Your reputation for accomplishment and wisdom that reached all the way to my country is confirmed. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it for myself; they didn’t exaggerate! Such wisdom and elegance—far more than I could ever have imagined.”

In this with you, and for the glory of His great name,

Linda G. Riddle

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