Shining in Dark Places

Shining in Dark Places

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Do you ever get a bit down due to the darkness in our world? Yep, I’m with you. Recently I transferred in my school system. I went from working with Pre-K students to interpreting for a hard of hearing student at the high school. There were enough sad stories associated with my four-and-five-year-olds to keep my prayer life keen. But now I witness quite a bit of darkness and depressing stories in the grown-up versions.

In a public school system I can’t just start preaching the Word, even though some could definitely benefit from that. I have to resign to the fact that I have to follow Jesus’ teaching about being a light.

“You are the light of the world. A city 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 men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

I must share it in The Message version too: “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand – shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”

John Phillips in his commentary says: “We are to remind people of the existence  and authority of God by living in the will of God and by being like Jesus. Just as “a city that is set on an hill cannot be hid,” our testimony for God must be consistent, continuous, and conspicuous.”

I’ve had people try to tell me that I need to “turn off” my Christian witness when I’m working at the school. These people misunderstand that being a Christian isn’t something I do, it’s something I am. I can’t just shirk it like a jacket and then slip back into it when it is convenient. No, I’m to shine my witness wherever I go.

Now, there are some dark places that sometimes cause me to want to hide my light under the bucket, but those are the places to shine all the more.

Also, I find that my light encourages others to shine theirs more boldly.

In one of the classes, the students composed a bio poem about themselves. Even though several had shared theirs aloud and shown some darkness, one girl read hers which included that she was a lover of Jesus Christ. Later in the hallway, I told her how great I thought that was and that I was a lover of Jesus too. She smiled and hugged me.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, please allow me to encourage you. We are the light of the world. Jesus said it! Go out and shine your light wherever you are. Remember that just a little spark can dispel darkness. And know that I’m shining my light along with you. Together we can light the world for Christ.

Paula Mowery About Paula Mowery

Paula is a pastor’s wife, mom to a college student, author, acquiring editor, and speaker. No matter the hat she wears, she strives to honor God’s plan even if it means going out on a limb and leaving comfort zones. Reviewers have characterized her writing as “thundering with emotion.” Her book, Be The Blessing, won the 2014 Selah Award in the novella category. You can follow Paula on Facebook and learn more about her at her blog.


  1. The dark world wants to put out our light but thanks be to God He is a light that will shine forever. I will pray for you in your school situation. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Students who are seeking help and answers in life often gravitate toward the Light. Keep shining yours!

  3. Thanks for the encouragement Barbara! And the prayers.

  4. Thanks, Linda. I certainly hope and pray they are attracted to His light.

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