Brighter and Clearer

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” - Matthew 5:14-16
 
My name - Claire - means “bright and clear.” As a child I had a blanket with my name and this verse embroidered on the corner. I used to run my fingers over the stitching, “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” It brought me joy and made me proud of my name.

Over the years, however, there have been times when this passage filled me with shame and sorrow - a fear that my light had dimmed, or worse, gone out.
 
There have been plenty of days when it seemed impossible that I ever have or ever could shine bright and clear enough to light a house, much less a city.

Things that make me feel dim:
 
  • Distraction

All too often I find myself running to a thousand different things - tv, food, friends, etc. I am searching for rest and joy, but I am left feeling frantic and frail.

  • Disobedience 

Ouch. This one hurts but it’s so true. I actively resist Christ, along with His compassions and commands, and my clarity suffers. This often comes from and/or results in deeper fear, reverence, or love for something other than Jesus in my life.  

  • Denial 

Denial prolongs my battle with distraction and disobedience. I pull the covers up over head and hide just a little longer.

We all have our ways of feeling dim. We can even get comfortable in the lower light, in the squinting and suffering. But Jesus calls us higher and deeper - and brighter and clearer. He calls us to Himself.
 
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” - John 8:12

The light, the imparting of it, the maintaining of it, the brightness, the clarity - it doesn’t come from us. It comes from the Light of the world. Our light then, depends on our proximity to the Source, on our willingness to let Him be our keeper. It comes from our denial of distraction and things that dim.
 
We come to Him - flickering and fighting, covered in dust and darkness - and He wipes us clean, so that we may shine again, brighter and clearer. It is Him who brings us from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). It is Him who finishes the work in us (Philippians 1:6). It is Him who polishes and positions us to shine as a city on a hill.

Jesus,
 
You are the Light of the World. You are our source of light. I’m sorry for when I run to the dimmer and darker things. Restore brightness and clarity once again. Thank you for your command and kindness in helping us complete it.
 
I love you. Amen


Author | Claire Jordan

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