Best of One Ringing Bell: Twilight and Twinkles

This summer, I'm continuing to share some of my most viewed posts--this one about a sweet reminder. This piece first ran in 2018.

One recent evening, Jerry and I walked a bit later than we usually do. As we approached an area where we know deer hang out, we were watchful because we didn’t want to be caught between a doe and her fawns.

But that evening, we didn’t see any deer, but something else.

“Oh, wow, look at that,” I said. Jerry stopped and turned. I pointed to a field. “Fireflies.”

In the twilight, hundreds of them twinkled randomly. It had been a long time since I'd seen so many. A smile eased across my face.

We stood in the street for a while and watched, both of us remembering with joy catching them in mason jars when we were kids.

Later, I discovered a few random facts while reading about fireflies.

If a field where fireflies live is paved over, they don’t go to another field. They simply fade away. That may be one reason why firefly populations are in decline.

Fireflies possess chemicals, which have proven to be useful in research on cancer, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, and heart disease. They are also useful in the garden as they feed on other insect larvae.

They are unique. No other insect has light producing structures in their abdomen. This fact reminded me of a sign a friend gave me, a snippet of a children’s song.

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine . . .”

It’s a reminder that we are unique and we also have special light producing structures.

Jesus said, “You are the light of the world” and “. . . let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14, 16).

God wants to use us to bring His light in dark places, and as Jerry has said, we let our lights shine; we don’t shine our lights. There’s a difference. Others are drawn to us as they see God at work in our lives, but the opposite usually happens if we’re constantly blinding them with our talk.

We have to think about how our actions might or might not bring glory to God in the places we go and the things that we do. We may try to explain away certain things, but in the end, what we may be doing is making excuses. To allow God to use us in bringing light, we may have to alter our actions. Believe me; I have had to alter mine. In fact, it is an ongoing process.

 I wonder when God sees us, it’s like how Jerry and I saw the fireflies in the field.

All over the world, we are twinkling in the darkness bringing joy to the Father’s heart.

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