Sometimes a simple string of words, written or voiced, have been known captivate me. Someone, without realizing, can write or say a sentence that lingers with me for a long time. This very thing happened a couple weeks ago, and I can’t dismiss it from my mind. A stranger had no idea how his words would end up on a blog post about how to keep your shine in a world that’s dark.
My daughter, 2-month-old grandson, and I were passing time in the customer waiting area of the car dealership where my son-in-law works. I was getting new tires on our vehicle. A man we didn’t know walked past and noticed little Nolan. After a few “cute baby” and “he’s so little” comments, his next sentence stopped me cold.
“His shine hasn’t rubbed off yet.”
What seemed like a million little thoughts crashed together in my mind, all at the same time as my eyes shifted to little Nolan. However, one thought was louder than all the others. “I don’t ever want Nolan to lose his shine.” Lifting my eyes to his mom, I quietly said those words out loud.
Now, I fully realize these words from this stranger referred to him being such a new baby. But, this new grandma took those words literally.
I don’t ever want Nolan to lose his shine.
I want our little bundle of joy to keep his shine forever. For him to always be bright and beautiful and beaming. I don’t want him to ever get dull from the effects of life in this world.
But, how? How can I help him keep his shine?
We all know how quickly this world can dull someone’s shine. We all know how life can take it’s toll on us with hard knocks, hard times, and hard circumstances. And, we also all know how people can be cruel, hateful, and down-right vicious. God created this world beautifully and perfectly, but sin has stained it since the near-beginning in the Garden in Genesis 2.
Life is full of all sorts of shine-dullers.
It’s no wonder so many of us walk around with our shine dulled. At one point we, too, were sparkly and glisteny just like Nolan. We were full of shine. But life happened, and many of us can’t even remember what that shine felt or looked like.
So, what can we do? Is there anything? Are we without hope of ever getting our shine back? How can you keep your shine and how can I keep mine? I have a few suggestions.
How to keep your shine in a world that’s dark.
We shine when we are filled with God’s light.
It matters with what we choose to fill ourselves. With the temporary lights of this world or the eternal Light of the world? Do I fill myself with the world news or with the good news of God’s Word? Do I spend dedicated time with God, talking with Him, worshipping Him, thanking Him? Or am I too busy, too distracted, too uninterested to do so? Just like a lamp… we can’t shine unless we’re plugged into our Source. The more we draw near to God, the more we will be filled with His light.
We can then shine God’s light for others.
Once we are filled with God’s light, we can’t help but shine it in the lives of others.
You are like that illuminating light. Let your light shine everywhere you go, that you may illumine creation, so men and women everywhere may see your good actions, may see creation at its fullest, may see your devotion to Me, and may turn and praise your Father in heaven because of it.Matthew 5:16 VOICE
The more we shine, the brighter we become. And the brighter we are, the brighter this world becomes. All thanks to God and His illuminating light.
We shine and refuse to let darkness win.
Yes, this world can be a dreary, dark place. But, God’s light still shines in the darkness.
His life is the light that shines through the darkness—and the darkness can never extinguish it.John 1:5 TLB
Sometimes we have to look a little harder to see His light in this world, and some days we fight to keep it ablaze inside of us. Sometimes the brokenness we experience in this world and in our lives is overwhelming. Yet, knowing our Source of light and hope and love illumines our paths when life gets especially dark. Light will always overcome darkness.
We shine as we stand firm and stay strong in God’s light.
No matter what comes our way, when we are continually filled with God’s light, we can stand firm and stay strong. Even through the damaging, destructive, discouraging times of life.
The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?Psalm 27:1 NLT
God keeps us shining for Him.
You, the Lord God, keep my lamp burning and turn darkness to light.Psalm 18:28 CEV
We cannot control what happens to us or around us, but we can control how it affects us. I’m not going to be able to protect little Nolan from the dulling effects of life in this world. But I will do all I can to equip him and prepare him to live in the light of God’s love and to keep shining His light from within. I can trust God will do the rest.
Friend, keep your shine. Do all you can to stay close to Jesus. Stay plugged in to your Source. This world needs your light more than ever. This world needs you to keep your shine.
God bless you!
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