I see it in the eyes of every person that I come into contact with- We were designed to SHINE! Woven in you and me is the desire and capacity to SHINE BRIGHT. As you will see, it is no accident that we have a hunger for more. We strive but oftentimes it feels like we are missing something. However, when we line up our goals and dreams with our Creator’s intended purpose, we will truly be a city on a hill, a light to those around us.
Matthew 5:14-16 NLT “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
WE TRY TO SHINE
How have you sought to shine? My attempts led me into the modeling industry at a young age. When those doors closed I continued to look for my worth and value in my appearance, in my hard work ethic, and in service to others. A fashionable wardrobe and excellent job performance were how I found accolades. Affirmations from those around me fueled my efforts but never left me at a place of complete contentment. Something was missing.
Maybe you find yourself pursuing scholastic endeavors or career opportunities. You may seek approval from others in your athletic goals or in a dress size. It could be your quest to become Super Mom or to have a reputation as a great friend. Whatever it is, you try and you try hard. And yet it often feels like your light is just flickering.
We have the right idea but we’re trying to do it on our own. We’re not plugged into the light source.
THE ONE WHO SHINES
1 John 1:5 NLT This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.
As the Bible states, we are not the source of light. I don’t know about you but I find great relief in this. We don’t create light, we simply reflect it. As the moon reflects the light of the sun, when we position ourselves to reflect God’s glory we truly shine our brightest.
And this shows us why our attempts to be bright on our own do not produce the results we desire. They were never intended to! The same God who placed the desire in us to sparkle also made us without the ability to truly do so on our own. Rather than getting lost in the pursuit of personal conquests, if we focus on keeping our surfaces reflective and free from smudges that dampen our sheen, then we are available to be powered toward our God-given dreams.
WHERE THE POWER RESIDES
When our motives line up with our greatest purpose, we are unstoppable. That which once bogged us down becomes the very thing that God uses to polish us up. Struggles and strengths are all the same in the hands of the Great Potter, as he can use both to reflect His glory.
2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
Nothing is too difficult for Him. As we set aside our own ambitions and follow the path he navigates we will discover the very thing we were looking for in the first place- we will truly SHINE BRIGHT.
We are wired by the Master Electrician, Our Maker, to SHINE BRIGHT. When we can see our attempts for self-improvement as attempts to fulfill our God-given calling we can redirect our gaze upward and let God work through us to become that city on a hill. We have been woven together with threads of dreams and aspirations. Our desire to sparkle is fulfilled in reflecting God’s beautiful light and sharing with others why we SHINE BRIGHT.
WHAT YOU WILL FIND HERE
The resources you will find at A Joyful Plate are designed to help you walk in freedom so that you can be a beautiful, reflective surface for our loving and gracious God. I hope you enjoy the messages of grace that you learn here. In my own walk, it was only by grace that I have found my shine.