I appreciate the sun. The warmth is gives, the light it shines, the boost it gives my attitude. When it’s absent, however, I might appreciate it even more. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? We haven’t seen much of the sun lately here in our corner of eastern Iowa. I think it rained all the day long yesterday. Maybe it’s been a cloudy, dreary, rainy season where you are, too. After all, don’t April showers bring May flowers? Wouldn’t it be great if you could make your own sunshine on cloudy days? Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a way to create the warmth, the light, the boost the sun gives? Especially on the cloudy, rainy, dreary days? Well, friend, I believe we can. I believe you and I can shine light into our own corners of the world and also into the lives of others.
How can you make your own sunshine on cloudy days?
On the days when clouds cover the sky, we know the sun is still shining. We just can’t see it. The clouds block our view of the sun. So, even on cloudy days we can remember the sun is shining, somewhere. And even though we may want it to shine where we are, we can find encouragement remembering it is still shining.
I relate this to my relationship with God. I can’t see Him with my eyes, yet I know He’s present in my life. Sometimes the clouds–or the obstacles in my life–block my perspective of God. Sometimes I focus more on the clouds than on Him, and when I do that, well, the days become dreary, dark, and gloomy.
It matters what I focus on.
Is my focus on the sun or the clouds? Is my focus on the Son or the obstacles?
I believe God designed us to shine. I wrote a post about this not so long ago. He designed us to vessels… to shine His light through us and into this world.
And you, beloved, are the light of the world. A city built on a hilltop cannot be hidden. Similarly it would be silly to light a lamp and then hide it under a bowl. When someone lights a lamp, she puts it on a table or a desk or a chair, and the light illumines the entire house. 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 5:14-16 VOICE
So, let’s use these three verses as the basis for how to make your own sunshine.
How we can make our own sunshine:
Be a light.
We can’t shine for very long or very bright without God’s light shining in us. Like a lamp that needs to be plugged into a power outlet to brighten a room, we, too, must be plugged into our power Source to shine bright. The more we stay “plugged in” to our Source, the brighter and longer we can shine. How? Read your Bible or Bible app or a devotional. Pray. Spend time with God.
Shine where ever you go.
This verse encourages us to shine everywhere we go. Sure, this world may be dark and gloomy, or it may just be a cloudy weather day. Either way, how can you make your own sunshine wherever you go? Can you give your smile to someone else? Can you hold the door open for another? How about letting someone else take the closer parking spot? Or calling a friend to brighten her day? The day is filled with opportunities to shine, even if we’re just staying home for the day.
Brighten God’s creation.
How can you make your own sunshine when it comes to God’s creation? Think about all of God’s creation: land, earth, people, pets, plants, etc. Can you plant a flower? Can you make a meal for a neighbor? How about taking your dog for a walk? Even caring for what God has given you is brightening God’s creation.
Be an example.
Since you are like an illuminating light, picture yourself holding a lit candle. The candle of someone next to you isn’t lit. You reach over with your candle to light hers. Then she reaches over to the person next to her and lights hers. As this continues, it doesn’t take long for the room to be bright with light as each person’s candle is lit by another. Be the one to start the chain reaction. When others follow your example, light replaces the darkness!
Care for yourself.
This one isn’t listed in the verses above, but we can’t make our own sunshine well if we aren’t taking care of ourselves. Take time for you. Take a break. Read. Write. Do something that brings you joy. Rest. Eat a healthy snack/meal. Drink a glass of water. Fill your mind with good things. Take a walk. Consequently, caring for yourself is an important way to make your own sunshine for yourself.
We have a choice.
So, friend, the next time we experience a drought of sunny days or when the world becomes dark and gloomy, let’s choose to make our own sunshine. Let’s shine God’s light into this world and make it a brighter place. It all begins with you and me. Before we know it, the sun will be shining again.
What’s one way you can make your own sunshine today?
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