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Believers and agates have something in common

By Micah Smith Tri-City (Wash.) Herald (TNS) • Nov 11, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Long summer days are lovely. Having grown up in the Northwest, I am still surprised to see daylight linger until nearly 10 p.m. during the summer months.

Light seems to make people feel better because they can get out of the house, enjoy one another and do things that they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) attempt in the deep dark of winter.

Winter darkness has that kind of dampening effect because of the absence of light. Light, on the other hand, infuses life with opportunity and joy. Father God must have had that in mind when he created light for us.

These thoughts prompted me to think about one of our family’s favorite activities through the years — hunting for agates. These delightful rocks, comprised of microcrystalline quartz, come in a thousand shades of lovely and translucent colors.

What I have discovered is that on days of heavy cloud cover, the agates are incredibly difficult to see. They blend in and hide among all the other rocks and stones. But when the sunlight is brilliant and dazzling, it refracts through the agates with laser-like focus, and I can see them easily. They stand out! They gleam and beam and shout, “Here I am!”

Amazing, don’t you think, that a little transparency makes all the difference in the world when it comes to standing out in a crowd? Light can’t penetrate granite, basalt, or river rock, but boy-oh-boy does it burst with dancing radiance in the transparency of an agate.

Vital and appealing as physical light may be, however, it cannot compare to the power, energy, and sheer wonder of God’s spiritual light. Did you know that as a believer you are a refractor of God’s marvelous light?

Multitudes of people sunbathe on sandy beaches and around backyard pools, soaking up sun rays even as they struggle and stumble in a deep spiritual night. A few, weary of tripping in the darkness, finally query, “Where is the path to the source of light?” (Job 38:24, NLT).

When they discover Jesus, they shout to God like the psalmist, “You floodlight my life!” (Psalm 18:28, Message). Still others, like the basalt rock, shut out the light. When the radiance flashes across their lives, it diffuses and disseminates without so much as leaving a shadow.

Sadly, they never consider what Jesus said in John 8:12 (LB), “I am the Light of the world. So if you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, for living light will flood your path.”

I once heard a story about three prospectors who hit the mother lode during the California Gold Rush, but sorely needed additional tools and supplies to mine out the treasure. Making a pact not to utter a word to anyone, the miners went to town one at a time, agreeing to meet at a certain place and walk back to camp together.

By the time they returned to their claim, however, the site was overrun with scores of people. The miners began to accuse one another of telling their secret, which they all denied. Finally, one of them approached the crowd.

“Why did you follow us?” he demanded.

The spokesman for the group replied, “Because we knew you had hit the big one!”

“How could you possibly know that?” the prospectors wanted to know.

“Because of the beam on your faces. You couldn’t hide your joy!”

Don’t ask God to beam you up yet. Ask him to beam you out. God is placing someone in your path right now that is looking for real light. Be transparent.

About the writer: The Rev. Micah Smith is president and founder of Global Gateway Network (www.globalgatewaynetwork.org), author of “Heaven’s Heartbeat,” and a Tri-City (Washington) Herald Spiritual Life contributor.

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