I Will Shine!

Minister J.C. Yarde

In the book of Matthew, I found the words spoken by Jesus Christ, “You are the Light of the world”. Often when I read things like this, I personalize them to myself. So, as I read this, I read it as “I am the light of the world” this has a powerful personal meaning to me. In this life I have made so many mistakes; in the past, I ran a lot of companies of different types. Some were successful and other not so much, however in each company, I made many similar mistakes which included double crossing a lot of people and hurting many others. On more than one occasion, I pulled a Trump and did not pay employees. I have failed to fulfill many promises to deliver to customers. I am not proud of who I once was, yet, in a quiet moment as I sit to study the word of God, these words from Christ reach beyond time and space to touch my soul- “I am the light of the world!”

The question I asked myself is “Who am I?” I was fired from Uber because of my background. I know my background is not the best, and so Uber does not let me drive for them because of it. Not that I am violent, because I am not. However, I must admit that when I read the report that was compiled on me, even I would not want to hire myself. Yet, Jesus says I am the light of the world. Not only that, but as I continue to read, it becomes obvious that I should not be hidden away in some corner but I should stand strong and tall for everyone to see me so that my Father in heaven can receive the glory. I am not sure if I can do that, that lonely corner looks mighty good. In the corner there is no one reminding me of all the bad things I did, which I now regret. In the corner there is no one to challenge what I have come to believe because God has been so active in my life. In the corner I am not exposed to ridicule, laughter and slander. Yet again, Jesus’ words pierce my soul. To Move out of the corner and shine for the world to see.

In my last blog, I wrote on how my greatest fear is that I do not live up to what I have been made for. This one nondescript sentence reveals God’s plan for my life, “To reveal that God’s power to transform lives is still available to all that call on him.” However, I must first decide to shine, I must decide to move out of the corner, to the center of the room. It is easy to miss someone or something in the corner of the room. Unless they are specifically looking for something, a lot of people will not look in the corner. However, if it’s standing in the middle of the room you cannot miss it. Whether you are looking for it or not, you cannot help but see it because it is in the middle of the room.  This move is the hardest move that I have ever had to make.

I did two and half years in state prison for bad checks, although this time I was not trying to rip someone off, I did get in over my head and ultimately, I ended up paying for my sins which I thought I had gotten away with. Right at the start, I had to make a decision, was I going to serve God or remain in the world? I chose God! I will admit my motives were not pure. I wanted out, and on some deep subconscious level, I was hoping that God would open the doors of the jail and let me come home. Or at least in the worst-case scenario, I would get a nice place or a nice job in prison. I was soon faced with reality, I was not going home anytime soon and when I got to my camp, it was one of the worst places to be. On top of that, I was placed in the worst dorm on camp. Within the span of these two and half years I have been shown many things, and God revealed Himself to me and in my life in a powerful way. This revelation is for another blog.

Where I was is not where I am now. I have been home for almost 2 years, and until now I stayed in the corner not willing to shine. Within my first week of being at home I was working on a project that was near and dear to my heart. I placed an ad on GoFundMe.com and within a week, a person from the past popped up on the ad, called me a scammer and said that this was a new low. Out of shame, I did not fight, I just pulled down the ad and went to sit in my corner. In another setting I designed a website and started a Facebook page with some friends where we placed daily words of encouragement, it was all good as long as I sat in the background. I tried my best to promote the other guys until it all fell apart, once again, I went and sat in the corner. I teamed up with my church and youth church members and came up with a great idea. I worked with true men and women of God, and the program we developed was great and it went beyond everyone’s expectations. When it was time to go to the next level I opted not to fight, I just went and sat in my corner. The result is that the program now stalls and awaits a slow death of forgetfulness.

All these situations had one thing in common, it was me not willing to shine for God. I found the warmth of the corner better than shinning for God’s glory. Shining is not for fame or recognition, I know I do not deserve any of that. However, shining is allowed for people to see where I am today, and by acknowledging that it was God that brought me to this point, I am able to give other people hope. For those who knew me in the past; the people that I hurt, the people that I betrayed, the ones who are stuck in the past because of me, God can work in their life to heal the wounds that were caused by my actions. God will help move them from the darkness of the past into the light of a bright future because I have decided to shine. The Song says “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!” I have no illusions of greatness, I was a wretch, but by the grace of God I can now shine.

So, I made a decision to pursue all that God has for me to do! I will move to the center of the room for all to notice. Those that hate me will not have to search the corners of this world to find me. I will be in the center of the room where I belong, shining not for myself but for God and God only. Another song puts it like this “It is not wrong dear I belong here, so you might as well get used to me.” For all of them that lost hope or for all of them that question the existence of God, I will shine for God so that they will know that God is real and is still saving those that believe in Him. For the Lost and those that have backslidden, I will shine for God. They will know that God is looking for the lost and that God’s greatest love is the backslider. For all those that have been through hell, and it seems as if it will not end, I will shine for God. So that they will know that God will not leave them, nor forsake them! Lastly for those that are lonely, and those who are ashamed of the sins of the past, I will shine for God! So that they will know that they are forgiven! So that they will know that they are never alone! For God is always with them!

I will shine for God, because he saved me when I deserved to die. I shine not for myself for I know on my own I am a big screw-up. I shine not for me because with me I am unreliable and I have proven that I cannot be trusted. I do not shine for me because, simply put, I am not that bright! I shine for God because with Christ I can do all things! I shine for God because greater is He that is in me than he who is in the world. I shine for God because God is not man that He should lie neither is He the son of man that He would change His mind. I shine for God because He loves me despite myself!