Compass Resources for Dark Places
It is not difficult today for most of us to feel surrounded by darkness and uncertainty. Turn on any news station or scroll through social media for only a few minutes and it will become apparent. Drive through any larger city and notice the amount of billboards advertising “gentlemen’s clubs” and other products or services that profit from our brokenness. Darkness abounds.
Through the muck of it all we often find ourselves yearning for a guiding light. We search for leaders who can illuminate the path forward, inspire change, and make a difference. In the searching, many of us fail to recognize that we are leaders exactly where we are, whether or not we have a formal title.
Light on a Hill
In Scripture, Jesus tells us Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Jesus is the ultimate light of the world. God has designed us to take our individual lights into the darkness. If you have Jesus, you are a light, and it is your divine duty to lead where you are at by sharing His light.
As Christ-followers, it can be easy to want to take our light and merely huddle with other lights. There is a place for this – lights clumped together shine even brighter. But our lights – your light – needs to be taken to the places that are dark and broken, where hope is scarce, and despair is prevalent.
Dark Places Within
These dark places exist in the world around you and in the world within you, too. Are there parts of your past or story that are dark and broken? Do you have moments where hope is scarce and despair sits at the surface? Perhaps you choose to hide your light due to fear, shame, or doubt. Even worse, maybe there was someone in your life who was supposed to care for you in loving and encouraging ways but instead, they tried to overtake your light or snuff it out altogether.
The truth is that your past does not define you and your wounds do not diminish your light. In fact, they can make your light shine even brighter when you choose to face them head-on, shine a beacon of hope and love into them, and use your story to inspire and help others find their way out of darkness.
So, where is your light shining in your story and your world? Where are you leading where you are at right now? Here are some practical tips for shining your light:
- Pray for Guidance: Seek God’s guidance through prayer. Ask Him to show you where He wants you to shine your light.
- Identify the Dark Places: Start by identifying the dark places in your life or community where your light can make a difference. These may be physical locations or emotional spaces where people are hurting and in need of hope.
- Take a Bold Step: Face your fear of the dark places. It may be daunting, but remember that you carry the light of Christ within you. Step out of your comfort zone.
- Share Your Story: Use your own journey as a source of inspiration and encouragement. Share how you have worked or are working on your own darkness and struggles with faith, and let others know that they can find the light too.
- Serve Others Selflessly: Leading where you are at involves selfless service. Offer your time, resources, and love to those who need it most. Be a helping hand and a listening ear to those who are hurting.
Barriers to Light
As you embark on your journey of leading where you are, you may find that you need support and guidance along the way. If you’re ready to let your light shine by taking it into dark places, whether in your surrounding world or your own story, explore resources like the Crucible Project. Crucible offers retreats and programs designed to help individuals discover what makes them shine brighter, identify barriers to their light, and begin the journey toward becoming the beacon on a hill they were created to be.
You have the power to make a significant impact right where you are. Leading where you are at is not about a title; it’s about recognizing your divine purpose as a light-bearer and taking action to illuminate the darkness around you. Be the beacon of light that the world so desperately needs, and let your actions, both to others and to yourself, speak volumes.