It was a few weeks before Christmas. Money was tight, expectations felt high and then came that hydro bill for over $800. Long story short, I ended up snapping at the Hydro One employee on the phone and then hung up on her. As far as she knows, I have stopped feeding my kids so that we can forever pay the hydro bills. Truthfully, it was not her fault. She was simply the messenger and who knows what I did to her day. Looking back, I am disappointed at how I handled the situation. I like to think that I learn as I go and have grown since, though I am sure I have more great stories to come.
It is that time of year again. We sing and speak of love, joy and peace. We prepare gifts and are full of excitement. Or are we really? It is also possible that we are busy, overwhelmed and frustrated. As we go to town, we see the hustle and bustle all around us. With the hustle and bustle, there is a lack of smiling faces. Chances are we will experience bad customer service, get cut off on the roads or maybe get snapped at for no reason. We come to realize this joyous time of year is not so joyous for many people. The thing is we don’t really know what that stranger, or maybe even friend, is going through: whom they are missing or what battle they are facing.
In the midst the chaos and trials, Jesus is the greatest need. He wants to shine His light through us, the believers who have been redeemed by His grace.
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do man light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candle stick; and it giveth light onto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before man, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
Those are verses we all want to claim. Without Jesus we cannot be that light, but by His grace we shine in the darkness.
When we are treated unfairly, or that clerk behind the register is rude to us, we might be the only light they see for the day. That gives us God power to make a difference. How we respond might be what makes their day a bit better or even worse.
In this world we tend to see more rudeness than kindness, more violence than peace, and more hate than love. When we experience the reviving power of Jesus, it is amazing the kindness, peace and love that we do find. God himself is able to fill us with so much of His light that it really does over power the darkness.
I walked into Timmy’s one day and this lady sat there, all by herself, just watching me. When I looked over at her, she just smiled. Something about her seemed so loving and kind; she made my day. I am pretty sure if I had asked her if I could join her, I could have had coffee with an angel.
"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angles unawares."
Every day is an opportunity to go out into the world and be an angel/light to everyone we cross paths with; to do good where we see the chance. The chances to represent Jesus are everywhere. The opportunities are endless in our own homes, in our communities and possibly around the world. We might only have a small part in the chain but each part is important to keep the reaction going.
I am sure we have all heard the phrase ‘pay it forward’. When we brighten one person’s day, we have a part in bringing light to the world. I saw an example of this last night. A gentleman had given my oldest son an apology note and a Thank you card for being respectful in a certain situation, and a huge box of Lindor chocolate. I could tell my son was very encouraged by it and that encouragement is contagious. (Not to mention he shared some chocolate with me!) What this man did was probably much bigger than what he would have guessed!
To be a light we must be fully charged, and to be fully charged we need to be in the word of God. Walking in the spirit will help us to deal with the unhappy clerk, the long wait in line, or the forgotten straw that was suppose to be in our meal.
"But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
I am humbled at the times when I look back at the times when I have made someone’s day worse. By doing so, I’m sure I’ve also made my day worse. I know those times where I’ve encouraged someone I was encouraged as well. Today we all have the chance to make or break someone’s day, let’s strive to make it great. And that is how we will truly experience “Christmas” all year long.
A sister in Christ,
Beacon Bible Chapel