This Little Light of Mine

 

 Acts 27:20 "When neither sun nor stars were visible for many days and no small tempest kept raging about us, all hope of our being saved was finally abandoned."

When I read this scripture, I kept hearing in my head a Sunday school song, that our children used to sing many years ago. This little light of mine, Iím gonna let it shine. The song said, donít let Satan blow out your light. Which led to thinking about the methods that Satan uses to try and put out our lights.

While Jesus was in the world He was the light of the world but when He went to heaven He passed that light to us. He said, that we were to be lights set on a hill. Because lights on a hill are hard to hide, we become obvious. Satan works hard at putting out our light because when people see our light and our good works, it leads them to Jesus.

One of Satanís favorite tricks is to put a cloud of darkness between us and the sun and the stars, he tries to make us feel like the sun and the stars are no longer shining and our light has been put out by the storm.

During the year 1967 my husband and I went through a violent storm of life. We well remember what it feels like to be in the middle of a tempest that seemed to go on for ever and brought us near to the point of despair.

In May of that year our 16 year old daughter came home and announced that she and a boy she had met at her afternoon part time job were going to be married. We knew that this was a mistake and tried to talk her out of it to no avail. Since we lived in a state that allowed such marriages without parental consent, we could not prevent it, and so with heavy hearts we decided to at least see to it that the wedding would take place in a church instead of a Justice of the peace.

Wedding invitations were purchased, addressed and mailed. Material for bridesmaids dresses, and a wedding gown were slowly turned in to gowns at the sewing machine. My husband worked long hours at his job in order to pay for this wedding we did not approve of. Then our daughter came home in tears and announced the wedding was off. We thought (Praise God) but kept our mouths shut. Since this announcement came only 3 days before the scheduled event this meant that many phone calls and cancellation of flowers and cake were the order of the day. Then two days later, the wedding was back on. To say we were distraught. Is putting it mildly. We did not feel at this point that we could put our stamp of approval on this marriage by attending, but we did ask our pastor to go ahead with the service.

By this time, the clouds between us and the sun and stars were pretty thick. Our church family not understanding all of the ins and outs of the situation thought we were terrible people to treat our sweet, beautiful daughter so poorly. So they were unhappy with us.

The day after the wedding that we did not attend, one of our boys was on a ladder painting the upper story of our house and fell off the ladder and broke his arm. The storm was gaining strength. Less than a week later, Our oldest son was struck by lightening and was dead before he hit the ground. We felt like our ship had been cut loose from the anchor and was being tossed wildly about in a raging sea. The stars and the sun were not visible to our eyes and our hopes of surviving the storm were very slim.

We had been Christians for about six years, doing the best we could to follow all of the rules that we had heard about and we were being battered and bruised, we didnít understand how this could be happening to us. Prior to this time the sun had been shining and the stars had been twinkling. Like Job, we had a some people come to tell us a few things, none of which helped. Satan was still huffing and puffing trying to put our lights out.

After the funeral, this great woman of faith gathered what was left of her children and ran away. I left my husband to deal with his own pain and moved 500 miles from the scene of my sorrows. But the stars and the sun did not seem any brighter in Arkansas than they did in Tennessee.

You see, we had this notion that after I became a Christian every thing would be wonderful, that we would be protected from all pain and sorrow, that our lights would remain pure and steady, that no storms would ever block the sun and the stars from our view.

In the year of 1967 we learned that God did not promise perfection on the earth, but He did promise we would never have to deal with the storms by ourselves. He promised to bring us through wiser and stronger. We also learned several ways to deal with the oppression of the devil.

1. If your ship has broken up in the storm, hang on to the promises. You may feel that you are alone, but you are not. Some where on the earth, God has touched the heart of some of His people to pray you through the storm and His word is the floatation device that will enable you to reach solid ground once more.

2. Speak the name, there is no greater power than the name of God, or His son. There is a song that describes this, listen to the words: ĎThe sea of life is raging, the storms clouds round me roll. Iím tossed about in turmoil, itís growing very cold. By myself Iíll never make it, but this one thing I know. When I speak the name of Jesus the storm clouds have to go. When I say Master, my sorrows disappear. When I say Father, he drives away my fears. When I say savior, my blinded eyes can see. When I say Jesus, He speaks sweet peace to me.í Prov. 18:10 says the name of the Lord is a strong and mighty tower and the righteous runs into it and are safe. When the sun and stars are hidden from your view, when you cannot even pray, whisper the name of Jesus.

3. Sing praises to God. Even when you donít feel like it. There are really only two times to praise,  1. When you feel like it and 2. When you donít. That song about bringing the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord is sometimes very true in our lives. Sometimes it is a sacrifice to praise, but praising God is always in order and will bring victory into your life. When you praise, walls come down just like they did at Jericho when they blew the trumpets and shouted. 2 Chronicles 20, Tells of a mighty victory brought about because of singing Godís praises. 2 Chronicles 5:13-14 says that when we praise, glory will fill the temple. And Ps. 136 indicates that goodness and mercy are released through praise.

4. Remember that just when it seems impossible to survive, the worst is over. Some one sent me a story about this sort of thing, it is entitled: 
"The Little Hut" and it goes like this:
"The only survivor of a ship wreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forth coming. Exhausted and losing hope he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements. 

One day after scavenging for food he came back and found his little hut in flames. The worst had happened, everything was gone. He was stunned with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me," he cried. Then he laid down on the sand and cried himself to sleep. Early the next day he was awakened by the sound of an approaching ship. It had come to rescue him. The weary man asked, how did you know I was here? And the rescuers replied, "We saw your smoke signal."

Itís easy to get discouraged, when things are not going well, but donít lose hope, because God is still at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. So remember, the next time your little hut is burning to the ground, it just may be a smoke signal that will summon the grace of God.