14,16 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden … let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Matthew 5:14, 16 (NIV)
Have you ever been to a birthday party where the host (usually the guest of honor’s parents) thought it would be funny to use trick candles on the birthday cake? The birthday boy or girl gets all excited when the cake is set before them, everyone sings “Happy Birthday” and all the attention is focused on them. When the song ends, he or she proudly blows on the candles. They lean back and lo and behold, the candles are still burning brightly. They try again. No go. And again. Giggles start to bubble up from amongst the guests. One of two things happens: either the birthday boy or girl continues to blow harder and harder with each attempt until someone tells them they’re trick candles, or they figure it out and try to laugh it off. Either way, the candles are still burning brightly.
In our Christian lives, Satan will try to blow out the light within us. Strong winds disguised as a break up, financial trouble, a loss of a job or a contract, or a positive test result will enter our lives and seem to become a constant flow that never gives up. But the light that the Lord has ignited inside of us is like those trick candles. It may flicker, it may seem to dim, it may look like it’s going out, but ultimately, that light will not go out.
Athlete, let us not boast and become prideful with this knowledge, because it is not in our own strength that the candle still burns. It is because of the strength of the One who ignited it. And when we withstand everything Satan and this world throw at us, it is our Father in heaven who gets the glory.
Prayer to consider today: Lord, thank you for letting the light You have ignited within me continue to shine like a trick candle. Thank you that it has withstood the strong winds of my past and that You will enable it to withstand the strong winds in the future. Let this light shine so brightly that others cannot help but see Your goodness.
Reflect: What are the “strong winds” (fears and anxieties) in your life that test the light within you?
Challenge: Write out these things and share them with someone close to you. Ask them what their strong winds are and pray for each other.
Outreach Challenge: When you’re at a grocery store or fast food restaurant, buy a few $5 gift cards and keep them with you. When you see someone struggling on the street, in need of food, hand them the gift card.