Last Thursday I mentioned that I was asking the Lord for a word for 2011, both for me and our small church. A word that is either something to live up to and strive toward, a goal, or a promise from our Father.
Saturday morning (we're Sabbath keepers) I was making bulletins for church and choosing the songs to sing. My usual method of doing so is to consider time of year, sermon topic, and otherwise just do a quick prayer and flip and pick whatever catches my eye. Said method resulted in our opening hymn being "Shine, Jesus, Shine." I typed the page number and title without thinking much about it.
Then in church, as we sang it, I got that shiver of awareness all through me, and my voice wobbled. My heart welled up inside. I could barely sing, barely play the organ. Because I knew the Lord had just given me my word: Shine.
Still playing, still singing, I started to pray. Was this a private word, just for me, or did it go for the church too? I'd been praying that whatever He gave us for the church, He give to several of us for confirmation. So I asked Him to make clear who all this word was intended for.
After we sang the chorus the final time, my mom (the worship leader) raised her hand and said she wanted us to sing that chorus again. And more, she wanted us to make it our prayer for the year. That the light of the Lord would shine through us, and that we would be the mirror to reflect Christ and his love. My dad (the pastor) added that the words "set our hearts on fire" struck him, and that we ought to pray for that too. And so I also added what I'd been praying for, and how this leaped out as an answer.
I get shivers again remembering. We're a small church, a tiny congregation of mostly-family. Yet in this little body of believers, I've grown closer to the Lord, I've heard from Him more, and I've felt the moving of the Spirit more than in all my life before, combined. And on Saturday, I latched onto this newest whisper of my God.
Shining isn't easy. It means being bright when you feel dull. It means projecting out when you want to huddle in. It means being filled with light and heat when you might want to crawl into a cool, dark corner and sleep for a century or two.
And not just that--because we are not light in ourselves, because we are, on our own, empty vessels, it means, like my mom said, being that mirror for Christ. Not just when we're "on," not just when we're trying, but always. It means, like my Dad pointed out, having hearts on fire for our Lord and Savior.
I'm not going to claim that already I'm this brilliant, shining creature, enjoying the success of the Lord's word. But I'm sharing it with you all because I want to be accountable, and because I think it's a word we can all share. If ever you see me stuck in a shadow, remind me to Shine. And if ever I see you in one, I'll point my mirror your way and try to share what light I've got with you.
That's the beauty of being a mirror--we can reflect on others without losing anything. So come on, friends. Shine with me. Let's fill the land with the awesomeness of His presence.