How can this be? His house is directly across the street … they got blasted with the same amount of snow … yet, here, days later, his snow is gone, and mine remains. There wasn’t enough snow to bring out the snow blower, and I know he hadn’t shoveled. Why the difference?
I then looked around my yard, and saw all the trees. Surrounded by trees. While my neighbor does
have trees … for a couple of hours a day … the sun hits his driveway, while mine remains in the
shade. It was then that I realized what a huge difference just a little light makes. Then, God started working on me. What a huge difference just a little light makes.
I know we are all called to be lights in a dark world. It is the darkest places that need the most light. And, the darker the place, the greater effect even a small light makes. This explains why God has placed so many of us in places where … let’s face it … we say (or cry out), “God … what am I doing here … in this place?” My own answer to that is another question (much like Jesus would answer a question), such as, “Yes … what are you doing in this place?”
Well? What are you doing in “your place,” the place where God has placed you? Yes, so often this refers to a work-place. Surrounded by unbelievers … what are you doing in your place? Are you, am I, being that light that God has placed us there to be? I heard someone say once that God will
surround us with exactly the right people … to do “in us” what He wants done in us.
Wow, the more I think about it, the more that question grabs me: “What am I doing here?” Am I doing what God put me here to do, to be?
We live in the great North Woods of New Hampshire, USA. According to statistics, our county receives less sunlight per year than any county in the contiguous United States … if not in first place in this category, we are sometimes listed as second. After heart disease, suicide is the leading cause
of death in adult males in the state. I don’t need to remind anyone that certain practices and lifestyles are legal here, which, well, are also legal in other states.
I think it’s safe to say that, spiritually, this is dark territory. But, is it any darker than other areas? One of the “darkest” areas I’ve ever visited, and I mean I could feel it, was a certain town in Georgia. I’ve seen others. I’ve “talked the gun” out of someone’s hand in “brighter” states, and, I’ve also gotten there too late. So, it may be fair to just say that the Bible is true … we live in a dark world, that darkness abounds “everywhere.” And, it’s not a geographic issue. I must admit that I do praise God for the opportunity to give the devil a black eye by operating a Christian business in the heart of this particular territory. That, from here, “out of the darkness,” we are able to bless people all over the world. From here. We are especially blessed to, from here, be allowed the privilege to bless Pastors all over the world. From here. And, to God’s glory, our writing has flourished here. From here.
Much as when I moved to New England from Georgia, when we moved to Northern New Hampshire, I had absolutely no doubt that it was God’s will for us to do so. It seems like every day, I get another confirmation that this is true. Yet, I also feel that we’ve only just begun. I hope that you feel this same way, too. About where you are, and “where you are.”
So, where I am doesn’t matter as much as “where I am.”
At the top of my list of “Other People’s Quotes,” is this quote, listed number one, from Helen Keller:
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”
So … as I look around, and mostly, inwardly, I must ask, “What am I doing here?” His will or mine?
Let’s face it, and I seem to know so many who share this same sentiment about where they live: The will of so many is to leave. “I hate it here.” “I can’t wait to get out of this place.” Sound familiar? I think the one thing that surprised me the most after moving here is how many people here hate the cold weather. I mean, they hate it! My first response often goes unsaid: “Well, then, what are you doing here?” I do, however, often add this bit of advice: “You can be miserable anywhere. “Here’s another “Let’s face it:” I get the feeling that these people would be miserable regardless of where they lived. Right? Sound familiar? We have a habit of leaving one area, moving to another … but, we carry the same bags with us. I think this may be another subject for another time. Another saying I’ve heard often: “When a man is right, his world will be right.”
I do know this: What is true for us here in the North Country is the same for every town, every city, every “Country” on earth: God needs people here, and He will always need people here. I know that, in this town, God has brought certain people here for a particular reason … I feel that the
same can be said for your town, any town. Because, it is God’s desire for us to show forth His glory to the world around us … regardless of where that “world” is.
And, the darker the place, the more light is needed. And, the greater effect light will have on the surroundings. Even a little light.
Next, in Part Two, we examine this matter of “light” in Scripture, beginning with the Old Testament.