The First Step to Take Toward Light

April 30, 2012

in Everyday Mission,Prayer

I bend my toes over the threshold and walk out alone into the early morning chill.  I put in the ear buds and listen to this–the call from David Platt to be a part of God’s great work among all peoples. I walk out into the darkness.

He speaks of 8 million in northern Yemen and only 20 or 30 believers, of the billions who will be born and live and die and never, ever, not once hear the name of Christ.  I walk on and can only imagine the darkness-of living an entire life without even seeing a glimpse of the light of Christ.  I swallow the knot in my throat and wonder how many times I’ve called out to Christ, the Light of the World, already in my short years…have I called out 8 million times, 1 for each of the lost souls in northern Yemen?

I walk past the freshly mowed lawns, see the early morning sprinklers spinning, and see the lights begin to flicker on.  I wonder at it-that all of us here have more than a billion chances to hear of Christ.  A church on nearly every corner…could there be more opportunity for light to shine here and yet so few opportunities in so many other parts of the world?

But strangely enough, my neighbor who doubts that Christ could be God drives right by and waves.  The next car passes with two women dressed in the head coverings that only Muslims wear. The darkness can sometimes smother, like a bowl on top of the candle.

I come home to the cacophony of markers and crayons on paper and spoons and cereal bowls and Lego pieces strewn from corner to corner.  But the lights are on in this house of mine, we have the light of Christ here. Here among the mess, those words about the earth so full of the unreached feel so far from me, me here with my hands already full of these little ones.

Thankfully, those 8 million in northern Yemen, the sadness of all that darkness, that was not the final point of the message.  At the center of the message was LIGHT.  The point was the end of the story-where Christ, the only light in the forever kingdom, is surrounded by people from every tongue, and every tribe, and every nation.  The point was that light will eventually shine in every dark corner and that we can, we are called, to take part.

In the middle of the day, when it quiets a bit again, I remember the lesson I’ve learned perhaps 8 million times.  That I can do more than pray but I can’t do anything until I’ve prayed. I open Operation World again and commit to it-to do this, to at least do this.  To pray.

Would you join me?  For the next 60 days (beginning May 1), I’m going to pray with Operation World for the nations and I’d love for you to join me.

Want some inspiration?  Listen to this sermon from David Platt preached at the Together for the Gospel conference.

Watch this video from Operation World:

And sign up here.

If all will be just as Jesus said, then after all of these dark places are reached with the gospel, then the end will come…and light will shine all over, forever.

I walked by my doubting neighbor and saw those women with their heads covered and looked up at the horizon.  The sun had just cleared a few trees and the darkness was slowly giving way to the day.  I come home and bend my knee and pray to the only One who can make light shine in the darkness, and remember that the first step in bringing light is first pausing to find its source–only Christ.

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46

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