Matthew 5:16 - let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
I enjoy spending time in nature. For me, it is one of the ways that I am reminded of God’s awesomeness, especially when I am sitting by the water or walking through a garden full of bright, beautiful flowers. Tonight, as I was talking a walk along the foreshore in Mandurah, Perth, I came across this beautiful tree.
It took my breath away and literally stopped me in my tracks, so I pulled out my camera and snapped a few shots then lingered around it. I stood there a little longer, looking up into all the leaves and without realising it, I was standing at the foot of this tree smiling. I looked around expecting to see other people just as awestruck as I was at this tree and noticed that there was other people milling around but none of them were looking at the tree. They were just hanging around or walking past, but none of them actually stopped like I did.
After lingering a little longer I walked away and sat by the water, but my mind went back to the tree. As I sat and pondered the beauty of the tree, I started to see a similarity to faith in that tree. Sound odd? Allow me to explain. This tree was standing tall and beautiful in all it’s glory for the world to see. It wasn’t dependant on the attention of people but on the provision of it’s Creator, and that's what made it beautiful. As I gazed at this tree and it’s leaves rustling in the wind, I was in awe of God and His ability to create something so amazing. Now not everyone stopped to admire the tree, but I’m sure that if I sat around for the day, I would see other people stop and admire it.
The love of Jesus in us is like that tree.
For many of us, our walk with Jesus is one of intimacy and love. It is a soul deep connection with our Saviour that drives our actions and it’s the love of the Holy Spirit that shines out of us. It’s the strength from our Saviour to allows us to keep going when everything is falling apart. It’s Him that enables us to keep writing and sharing when all we want to do is close the laptop down and walk away. It’s His light that shines through and it’s that light that will make some people stop and watch; to wonder at our actions, or ask what makes us different. Not everyone will see it and if anything, many will be too distracted, but there will be some that will look up long enough to take notice. To wonder why it is that you can keep smiling while walking through the fire. To ponder how you can share stories full of heartache yet still praise God. People will read your stories and devotions and poems and start to question if the love and joy you talk about is real and if they can have it. Our dependency on Him and our joy in Him will shine through and make people take notice.
So let me encourage you today to keep standing tall. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and keep living out your faith for the One that loves you. Keep reflecting His beauty through whatever gift He has given you, whether it is writing, encouraging others, proofreading, cooking or whatever gift He has placed within you. We often put our work out there, whether it be proofreading work or writing fiction or poems, and we can find ourselves wondering if it’s making any difference. We can get distracted by the revenue that may or may not be coming in through our work and wonder if what we do is worth it or enough. Let me tell you that it is. You may not always hear feedback, but the work you do impacts people around you and just like that tree, people will be stopping to admire. People will linger around your work and start to wonder at this Jesus you keep referring to and maybe, just maybe, they will open their hearts to the One that loves them.
Leila (Lays) Halawe is a Sydney based coffee loving nonfiction writer and blogger. She has published a short devotional, Love By Devotion, and shares her views on life and faith via her blog page Looking In. You can connect with her via Facebook at Leila Halawe Author and via Twitter at Leila Halawe.