“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” Matthew 5:14
Joe was anxious as he walked into the jewelry store to shop for an engagement ring. He had been saving for months to buy the perfect ring to give to Carol. Joe and Carol had been dating for years. He did not doubt that she was his forever love. Still, he was concerned about the ring. He thought, “It must be perfect.”
As Joe looked through the glass counter at a tray of beautiful rings, a salesman walked over and said, “I see you are looking for an engagement ring. I have a fine selection of diamond rings.” He reached behind the counter and handed Joe a ring. The young man held it up to the light. The diamond was a quality stone, but Joe wasn’t impressed. The salesman handed him another ring, and then another, but none of them caught his eye.
The salesman pulled a black velvet pad out of a drawer and placed it on the counter. He took one of the rings out and delicately laid it on the black backdrop. When he did, all the light in the room seemed to pour through the stone causing it to shine as it had never shone before. Joe was dazzled. He had seen this very diamond ring moments earlier, but not like this. All the beauty of the precious stone was now dramatically enhanced and showcased for him to behold. Joe smiled and nodded his approval to the salesman. “That’s the one,” he said.
What changed Joe’s view of the ring? Why did the diamond, which only moments before had appeared so unimpressive, now sparkle like the stars above on a moonless night? In the jewelry business, the dark background makes the difference. When placed on a glass counter, the black velvet causes the light overhead to radiate brilliantly through the diamond, revealing its true beauty and causing it to sparkle and shine more brightly. Take away the black backdrop, and it is hard to see the diamond’s splendor. It is the darkness that causes the stone to burst forth with dazzling light.
We are living in dark days. The COVID-19 outbreak has the world in a hysteria. The death toll has been climbing around the world. People have now been diagnosed with the coronavirus in all fifty states. Schools and businesses are closed. The stock market has crashed, and the country is on the verge of a recession. The public is in a state of panic and many have resulted to hoarding. As a result, there is now a major toilet paper shortage in the United States. Many in the nation have become isolated and are living in fear. The days are dark indeed.
But if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, now is your opportunity to shine in the darkness. How should you shine? Let me suggest a couple of ways. First, you can pray. In this time of trouble, the world needs bold prayer warriors who will get on their faces and cry out to the Lord. Second, call and check on people, especially the elderly, those who have health concerns, and shut-ins. Many are feeling alone. A phone call from you will brighten their day. Third, if you can get out, take supplies to someone living in isolation. Take a bag of groceries to your neighbor. A small act of kindness like that means a lot in desperate times. Finally, share the Gospel. The answer to the darkness is the Light of the World. People need the Lord Jesus Christ.
The point is: The darker the night, the brighter the light shines. Pastor A.W. Tozer once said, “A scared world needs a fearless church.” Now is the time to shine like a diamond on a black backdrop. You and I should reflect His light in this dark world. Unless we tell others about Jesus, people will continue to wander in the darkness.
How bright are you shining?
James Collins is the senior pastor of First Southern Baptist Church where “Drive-In Church” will be held this Sunday. Find out more information at www.fortscottfsbc.com.