We often think of God’s grace as His “unearned, undeserved favor and spiritual blessing “(John 1:17 AMP), but it is so much more than this. It is the power and strength to do things by His Spirit that we would otherwise be unable to accomplish. It is by His grace that the impossible becomes possible in our lives. We do not deserve His blessings in our lives nor do we deserve to walk in His wisdom or power, but we do by His grace. His grace is a wonderful thing, a gift that should not be overlooked or forgotten by anyone.
When we struggle and fight with life, we are not walking by His grace. When we feel like we want to quit and cannot go any further, we are not walking by His grace. When the storms of life knock us down, we are not walking by His grace…for it is by His grace we find His strength in our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:9). It is through the many storms in our life that we learn to walk by and in His grace, the times when we can look back and see that the Lord was with us in our darkest hour (see my post “Rainbows of Life”).
How much more in our weaknesses do we see the power of God, than in our strengths? We should not despise our weaknesses, but glory in them, for it is through them at we are able to glorify God! Even Paul said that he would gladly boast in his infirmities (his weaknesses), so that the power of Christ would rest upon him.
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. — 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)
In order to glorify God in our weaknesses, we must let His light shine during the storms of our life, becoming a lighthouse, or a city on a hill. We should not hide our light or keep it to ourselves, but instead hold it up high, letting it shine it brightly for all to see.
You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. — Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV)
Just as the light in a lighthouse helps guide mariners safely to shore, the light of Christ shining in us helps others navigate through the storms of life. A lighthouse must be strong and stable, able to stand against the winds and waves of the storm; and its light must shine so brightly that is is able to pierce through the darkness. The lighthouse keeper must stay attentive to the light, making sure it does not go out, or lives might be lost on his watch. He must be prepared at all times, ready to weather any storm that may come against his lighthouse. Each storm helps him prepare for the next one, perhaps showing him a weakness that must be strengthened before the next storm arrives. If we are to be a lighthouse of God, we must be strong and stay attentive to the “Light” that shines in us.
We need to thank the Lord for the storms in our life, thank Him for adversities and people who rub us the wrong way. It is only through these storms that our weaknesses are revealed and we can be made stronger in Christ. We must surrender our will, wants and desires, accept our weaknesses, and allow His strength to carry us through the storm. It is times like these that we need to press into the Lord harder and ask Him to change us, make us stronger, to stand in the midst of the storm.
I can remember the day I learned that I needed to pray for the Lord to give me the strength to make it through, rather than praying for the Lord to remove or change something in my life. I hit my limit and I was done, I could not continue the way I was going, literally. Something needed to change, either me or the situation. I learned that I need to stop and lay whatever it is at His feet and admit that I am at my limit, that I can do nothing without Him. I learned that I could ask Him to change me, to strengthen me to deal with whatever happens in my life.
We can still ask Him to change the situation (or other person), but we need to also accept that it will more than likely be us who He will change to deal with the situation. He very rarely changes the situation, more often He changes us, making us stronger and our light brighter! It is never “fun” to go through a storm, but it is AWESOME when the Lord uses us as a lighthouse in someone else’s storm. Let your light shine, let it shine, let it shine!
We should let the light of Christ shine so brightly out of us, that we become the light at the end of someone else’s tunnel…lighting their way back home. Are you letting your light shine for other’s to see, or are you keeping it to yourself, hiding it under a basket?