Spreading the Light of Jesus in the New Year


light“In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”—John 1:4-5 (NIV).

Stars twinkled in the sky, providing illumination for the late-night and pre-dawn hour walks around my front yard. My dog was confined to a crate for more than six weeks. I couldn’t allow him to roam around my fenced-in back yard to do his business.

Along with the light from the stars, my neighbors’ Christmas lights lit up our street. I didn’t need a flashlight to brighten my path. Although those 42 nightly trips around my yard were, at times, exhausting, the stars reminded me of the opportunities we have to shine God’s light into the darkness.

In one of her daily devotionals, author Christine Caine talked about visiting the prison camp in Auschwitz. “I realized,” she wrote, “that crimes against God’s children are no less evil today than they were during World War II, and perpetrators are no less cruel. Evil exists throughout the world now—not just in history.”

Maintaining a Positive Outlook

Too many times, especially after the excitement of Christmas, we feel let down. After the gifts have been unwrapped and the tinsel put away until next year, we shift back into everyday mode. With the negative news of evil throughout our world, sometimes it’s hard to maintain a positive outlook.

In a recent inspiring news article, journalists didn’t just report the news. They made the news. A Tulsa, Ok. photojournalist with a local television station had just wrapped up a live shot in front of the jail for an upcoming broadcast.

The men had just loaded up their equipment into the car when one of the photographers noticed a newly-released inmate exiting the building. When Jerome Akintunde realized the man was without shoes in the frigid weather, he removed his own and gave them to the barefoot man. Akintude said, “This guy needed those shoes more than me.”

Hope for the Future

In an article titled, “The Best News of 2019,” the reporters shared 20 stories from across America to remind us to be hopeful about the future. Following are some of those uplifting stories:

  • When he learned one of his former students had lost his place on a kidney transplant waiting list because the 13-year-old was homeless, an Aurora, Colo. math teacher became his foster parent. This gave the child a stable home and allowed him to receive the operation.
  • Using $74.50 of his savings, a Napa, Calif. third-grader paid off his classmates’ cafeteria debt so they’d be served lunch.
  • When a customer at a Branford, Conn. restaurant noticed his waitress struggling to hear, he left a $500 tip so she could afford to repair her broken hearing aid.
  • A Port Allen, La. eighth-grader noticed his classmates in need so he set up a special closet filled with donated clothing and food at his middle school. Available to all students, the items are discreetly handed out through teachers or school staff.
  • Neighbors responded when an 11-year-old girl had $9 stolen from her Illinois lemonade stand. Rallying behind her, they raised nearly $350, which the youngster donated to Feeding America, a Chicago-based hunger-relief organization.
  • Inspired by his wheel-chair bound mother, a 17-year-old Jackson, Miss. school student raised more than $600,000 to build the state’s first baseball field fully accessible for children with disabilities.
  • When a Milwaukee, Wis. police officer pulled over a young mother and saw her two daughters without car seats, he didn’t ticket her. Instead, after he learned she couldn’t afford them the officer used his own money to purchase the seats and install them in her vehicle.

We Can Help Spread the Light

 Remember the lyrics to “This Little Light of Mine.”

This Little Light Of Mine,
I’m gonna let it shine,
This Little Light Of Mine,
I’m gonna let it shine,
This Little Light Of Mine,
Yes, I’m gonna let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Until the return of Jesus, who will bring a new heaven and a new earth, the darkness will be with us.  In the meantime, we can experience the joy of spreading the light by shining brightly into the darkness around us.

With God’s help, let’s shine brightly into the lives of others. Sharing His grace, His love, and His hope will bring untold joy, not only for the recipient but for us as well. Let’s let our little lights shine.

I always love hearing from my readers. Please feel free to e-mail me at carol@carolaround.com with your thoughts, or visit my blog for more inspiration at www.carolaround.com. If you need a speaker or workshop leader, you can contact me at the above e-mail or through my website. I’d be delighted to hear from you.

Photo credit: LDSliving.com