“We had dinner at the Good Fortune Chinese Restaurant again last night,” Stan commented.
“And I bet you have something to say about the fortune you got in the cookie,” I responded with a laugh.
“You’re getting to know me pretty well,” Stan replied. “The fortune in the cookie is one I have seen lots of times before, but it is always one that causes me to focus on its truth for my faith walk.”
“What did it say?”
Stan pulled the little piece of paper out of his pocket. “Listen to this,” he said. “It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.”
I thought for a couple of moments. “You’re right,” I said, “lots of application to lots of things, including my faith walk.”
“Indeed,” Stan replied. “What struck me about this fortune this time is its application to the whole notion of revival.”
“Revival? You mean like revival in the church, more people coming to faith?”
“Well, certainly that,” Stan replied, “but I was thinking more about personal revival.”
“Personal revival? How so?”
“It seems to me,” Stan said, “that there can’t be revival in the church without each individual person experiencing revival. I don’t think we will see any revival in the church until it begins with a single individual and goes on to another, and on and on.”
“No big sweeping revival,” I replied, “is that what you’re saying?”
“Well,” Stan replied, “God can, of course, do what He wants. If He wants a big sweeping revival, that’s what we are going to get. However, it is one at a time. One small candle in the darkness of one person’s life and then the next and the next. Going from revival with one to revival with as many as God has in mind.”
“Didn’t Jesus say something about rejoicing in heaven over a single person?” I asked.
“He did,” Stan replied. “He was talking about the joy in heaven over one sinner who repents. He went on to say something about that in connection with those not needing to repent, but that’s another subject for another day. Just take it for now that I know I am in need of constant repentance.”
“That kind of reminds me,” I said, “of the story about the child picking up starfish on the beach and throwing them back in the ocean. The one about the old grump who told her there were too many to make any difference. She picked up one, threw it back, and said that it made a difference to that one.”
“Exact same thing,” Stan said. “I can’t, and you can’t, fix everything or everyone, but we can do our part in lighting the small candle to disperse the darkness in one life at a time.”
Bible verses to consider:
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16.
I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:7.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for sending the light of Jesus into the world to provide the way to spend eternity in your presence when it’s time. Thank you, too, that you want me to be a light into the darkness of this world, a light that can make a difference in the eternal destination and life before then in another person. I confess that too often I am not the light you intend because I choose not to be that light. Please forgive me. Please help me in following every step of your lead so I am the exact light you intend for me to be, shining into whatever darkness you want. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted the light of Christ so that you have the assurance of salvation? If no, why? What is standing in the way of accepting God’s free and gracious gift of salvation and redemption by faith? If you have the assurance of salvation, how are you doing with being the light of the world you are intended to be, shining the light you have been given into the darkness of the world? If you sense that some changes may be needed, how are those changes going to happen? Is that something you want? Why or why not?