My teammates and I boarded our flight to Mexico for a Spring Break mission trip. We had prayed for this trip many times and felt that even though it was only a week long, it was going to be “oh so sweet”. But still, I’d never been on a mission trip this short and I wondered — How much impact could a single week really make?
To my delight, I had a window seat on both our first and second flight. The weather was beautiful and the views were amazing! I spent a lot of my time just looking out the window and enjoying time with God. As I looked at the light on the wing, I realized — this tiny light can be seen from miles away!
Jesus calls us “the light of the world”, “a city on a hill”. Sometimes, we don’t think we shine all that brightly. Yet Jesus thinks our little light is very powerful. When you turn on a light in a dark room, everyone looks. We can’t help but be drawn to the light. When children sing This Little Light of Mine, do we realize how significant this truth really is!
Many days, I feel like my light is dim. My best attempts never quite stack up to how many problems there are in the world or the expectations I set for how bright I must shine to really make a difference. But as I looked out my plane window on the way to Mexico and saw that tiny light, God gave me a new perspective. That light is so small against the expansive night sky, and yet if you look up, you see it with ease.
And so, at the threat of discouragement, I look back at the past and suddenly I see how bright my light really shined. I see incredible days like:
- When my team preached at a house church in Nepal and 50 people crammed into a tiny space just to hear our message. That day, a family of ten came to Christ!
- When my team led a two week Vacation Bible school for an underground church in a closed Asian country. Afterwards, the parents and leaders were amazed at their children’s growth. That day several of them dedicated their lives to children’s ministry!
- When a woman in an Indian brothel committed her life to Jesus because of the faithfulness of returning short term teams and long-term workers. After becoming a Christian, she moved her children away from the brothel and became a teacher to reach back into the red light area!
- When DTS students came to freedom from deep hurting places in their life such as sexual brokenness, misplaced identity, or self-hatred. Or when they saw God’s character in a whole new light and fell in love with Him.
- When people wept because they found salvation, redemption from sin, and freedom from deep hurts. And I wept and rejoiced with them.
When I look back, I see all the times that my light was so much brighter than I thought it was at the time. And this gives me hope. My life really is making a difference. God is bringing people freedom through me. God makes me a chain-breaker! An encourager! A warrior for the weak!
Now I see those other days in a whole new way. When we aren’t seeing much fruit, we must trust that our light is still shining. We may just be tilling the ground or planting a seed or watering the soil. But it is all a part of growing the fruit for harvest. It is every bit as significant as the day the fruit is picked.
After having this revelation on the plane, my one week Mexico outreach felt so much more significant. It was easy to see how God used our faithful little lights. Even if some of the things we did were only “small lights”, they shined brightly:
- We prayed with many people who wanted Jesus.
- We hung out with special needs orphans and poured concrete foundations for their new homes.
- We prepared a medical mercy ship so that it could hold doctors and equipment to reach the most remote areas with the Gospel and medical care.
- We preached at a hospital and prayed for people in need of healing and Hope.
- I cried and prayed for a woman whose mother was in her final days, and helped her find comfort in God.
- I prayed for a man’s arthritic hands and rejoiced with him when the pain started to go away. And this opened the door for me to share that God loves him and wants a relationship with him.
- I led worship in the poorest neighborhoods in Mazatlan and joined them in thanking Jesus who sustains them and provides everything they need.
Sure. All these things may seem small. Anybody could do them. And in the world’s estimation, a week is so tiny. But God’s kingdom is one of multiplication, and He makes these small things become much BIGGER.
As I return home, I hope to hold onto this lesson. When my light feels small, I must remember that I am a city on a hill. You too are that city. It’s who you are because Christ is in you. You cannot hide that kind of light. And no matter how tiny or how dim that light may feel, remember that in a dark world, your light can be seen from miles away.
[By Megan McGee, YWAM Madison staff]
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