This Little Light of Mine

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 … let your light shine … – Jesus, as quoted in Matthew 5:16 NIV

I remember the moment clearly. A spanking new student teacher, I stood in front of a classroom for the first time. Perhaps I was a bit nervous. I don’t remember. What I do remember is, at that moment, a light went on inside me—and has never gone out.

I’d found my calling—the purpose for which I was created—and joy flooded my soul.

The road to that moment wasn’t easy. Growing up in the shadow of a gifted and popular older sister, I struggled with self-confidence and wormed my way through an identity crisis before the term was even coined. It didn’t help that I looked and sounded like my older sister Judy (I didn’t think so, but everyone else did).

In school, teachers wondered why I didn’t get the grades Judy did. And I wondered why my classmates didn’t like me as much her classmates liked her. Mine mockingly called me “Miss Popularity.” When we got older and the boys started coming around—not for me, of course—I found it to my advantage that our voices sounded alike over the phone.

It wasn’t until college—and nearly a hundred miles from my hometown, where no one knew Judy existed—that I finally found myself. I didn’t have to bask in anyone else’s light. I was free to shine my own.

But old habits die hard. In the let’s-mock-Michele years, I’d learned it was better to hide in a corner than risk attention if I let my light shine too brightly. People have a way of putting you in what they think is your place—and it isn’t to outshine them. I found that if I was too good at what I did, people would get envious and not like me. And I wanted to be liked. Besides, I thought hiding in a corner, not letting my light shine, was being humble.

Is that why God created me? Or you? To hide in a corner? Has He not given each person at least a seed of talent that we are to develop and use for Him (Matthew 25:14–30)? And hasn’t He given each of us a special place in His kingdom? A unique job to do? And hasn’t He given us what we need to accomplish that job? (1 Corinthians 12:7; Ephesians 4:7-13)

“You are the light of the world,” He said.

Wait a minute—isn’t Jesus the Light of the World? Yes, He is. But His physical presence is no longer on this earth. Instead, He shines through each of His followers, who are to take His light to a world where moral decay and selfish lifestyles create an ever-increasing darkness.

We are not to hide the light He has put in us under busyness (the jar/vessel in Luke 8:16 represents work) or beneath idleness (the bed). Nor are we to bury the special abilities He has planted in us.

So don’t be afraid to let your light shine, Child of God. That’s why He created you.

Dear God, let Your light shine in and through me. Amen.

Read and reflect on Matthew 5:14–16.

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea, Vol. 3, © 2019 Michele Huey. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

The Money Pit

Daniel McGinnis, John Smith and Anthony Vaughan begin digging in 1795.

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field.” –Jesus, as quoted in Matthew 13:44 NIV

One summer day in 1795, young Daniel McGinnis found what appeared to be a depression in the ground. The teenager, who lived on a small island off the coast of Nova Scotia called Oak Island, knew the area was reputed to have been frequented by pirates. Oak Island was one of three hundred small isles in the Mahone Bay, perfect for hiding pilfered treasures. So Daniel returned the next day with two of his friends and started digging.

He never found anything. What he did do, though, was spark a treasure hunt that spanned two hundred years, cost millions of dollars, and claimed half a dozen lives, including a daredevil motorcyclist and his eighteen-year-old son in 1959.

Excavators, digging and drilling to nearly two hundred feet, discovered charcoal, putty, spruce platforms, oak chests, layers of wood and iron, coconut fibers, parchment, loose pieces of metal, a cement vault, a human hand, a mysterious inscription on a stone, a flood tunnel, booby traps—but no treasure.

Money Pit on Oak Island

What really lies at the bottom of what’s called the Money Pit? Treasure buried by Captain Kidd, who used the area for R & R and to repair his ships? The original works of Shakespeare or Sir Francis Bacon? The crown jewels of France, which vanished four years before McGinnis stumbled onto the site? The long-lost Holy Grail? Or is the Money Pit nothing more than an old ammo dump?

No one knows. But who can resist the lure of buried treasure? Note the popularity of films such as National Treasure and Pirates of the Caribbean. Why do such stories appeal to us? Perhaps because we all harbor a secret dream that we will find a treasure that will make us rich beyond our wildest dreams. What wouldn’t we give for a chance at it?

That’s why Jesus used this analogy in describing the kingdom of heaven.

“The kingdom of heaven,” He said, “is like treasure hidden in a field.”

Since there were no banks in the first century, it wasn’t uncommon to hide treasure in the ground. If the person who buried it died without disclosing the whereabouts of his cache, it was finders, keepers.

“When a man found it,” Jesus continued, “he hid it again, and then went and sold all he had and bought that field.”

That’s how valuable the kingdom of heaven is. The late missionary Jim Elliot understood this.

“He is no fool who gives that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose,” he once said. Elliot was one of five missionaries murdered by the Auca Indians in 1956.

Mother Teresa also understood this, as did Hudson Taylor. And William Tyndale. And many others like them who gave all they had in order to serve the King. They knew that what they relinquished was minuscule compared to what they received—the kingdom of heaven. They gave that which they could not keep to gain that which they could not lose.

Now, that doesn’t mean we have to run off and become missionaries when we submit to the rule of King Jesus. But it does mean that our priorities change. Our perspective changes. What we once thought was so important no longer is.

It means that, like Paul, we say, “Everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ” (Philippians 3:8 NLT).

What about you—where is your treasure?

Dear God, I still cling to things that moth and rust can destroy, and thieves can steal. Remind me daily of where my real treasure lies. Amen.

Read and reflect on Matthew 13:44; Philippians 3:7–8.

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea, Vol. 3 © 2019 Michele Huey. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Interest piqued? Find out more about The Money Pit here: “Oak Island Money Pit: The Last Great Unsolved Mystery

First photo courtesy of