May 13, 2019
Prayer: Dear Lord, like these fish that shine their light in the darkness, we want to shine for You. We want to be in faith for the places that you send us each day. Amen.
Scripture: Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Psalm 37: 5-6 NIV
While visiting the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia, we watched a movie that included information (by way of a cute song) about luminous organisms called bioluminescent organisms. As these computer-animated fish sang, God stirred a devotional in me. I love how God can turn some of the simplest and sometimes even silliest moments of my life into a lesson. He is so good.
According to the National Geographic expeditions for classroom lessons, the ocean is divided into three light zones: the photic zone (less than 220 yards or 200 meters from the surface of the ocean), the “twilight” zone (between 220 to 1,100 yards or 200 to 1,000 meters from the surface), and the aphotic zone (more than 1,100 yards or 1,000 meters from the surface).
In the twilight zone, it becomes increasingly difficult to see, and colors become obscured. The aphotic zone receives no light at all, and this region’s inhabitants live in complete darkness – with the exception of the lights they emit from their own bodies. This phenomenon is known as “bioluminescence.” The word we use to describe organisms that emit light is “bioluminescent” (“bio” for life,” and “lum” for light). While bioluminescent organisms can be found at all levels of the sea, their light-emitting capabilities come in particularly handy at the deeper levels.
Stay with me, the head lesson had to come before the heart lesson. You see these animals “shine” in the darkness. Where there is no light, they are the light! The light is in them – in their tissue – and it allows them to thrive and survive through what some would call adaptation or evolution, but we know this as just another one of God’s amazing creations. In learning about adaptations in nature, we are taught how animals can camouflage, communicate, defend and feed themselves in special ways; ways that we know God has given them in their circumstances and environment.
God has done the same for you and me. We all experience “dark” places that seem to have little or no “light.” It may be your school, community, or even home. God has placed His light in you so that you can “shine” in these dark places. Our righteous words and actions are light-emitting that, like other bioluminescent organisms, help us to find other Christians. They communicate who we are and what we are made of while also defending us or distracting our predators with a “light” that they are drawn to even if they do not fully understand. If we live out our faith in love, trusting and obeying God, then we are a light that shines in dark places like the dawn and noonday sun.
Copyright Kathy Branzell. Email firstname.lastname@example.org