Run into the darkness, not away from it

So sometimes I run at night. Feel free to yell at me in the comments. My friends do. My family does. I still run at night. Don’t worry; I do my best to be safe about it, flashlight always in one hand, mace in the other. One evening I decided to go for a jog right as twilight set in. The neighborhoods and the streets were lit. I’d ran this way countless times. Nothing out of the ordinary. But this time as I ran, I came upon a part of the street where there were no lights. It was dark, and the plants were overgrown onto the sidewalk. As I dodged these plants so they wouldn’t hit my legs, my overactive imagination began imagining someone jumping out of these bushes and grabbing me. So I ran faster. Remember, I had a flashlight; I could see. But I was still terrified of the dark and continued to imagine terrible scenarios, so I gave up, turned around, and ran back into the light.

And as I was jogging home, I couldn’t help but think that we Christians do that all the time to God. He equips us with what we need to spread His Gospel to the ends of the Earth and shine like beacons on a hill to those around us, but we let doubts and shame and anxiety keep us from going where He sends. I continually pray, “Here I am Lord, send me,” but then He sends me out of my comfort zone (the brightly lit streets) and I don’t make it very far before I turn around and head back to what I know. God doesn’t call us to stay in our comfort zones. I’m not going to grow there; you’re not going to grow there, and if we’re not growing, we’re dying. It’s okay to retreat to the light every once in a while to fill up.

We all need community to thrive, but what’s not okay is camping there in our comfort zones when there are so many people in the dark who don’t know the Lord. They’re walking around blind because they don’t even know what light truly is. When you take your flashlight that God gave you (that’s your talents, your personality, your ability to connect with people and show them the love of the Lord), and you venture into the darkness, you’re bringing that flashlight to people who are desperately longing for sight.

What’s super cool is that God uniquely qualified you to reach the people in your life and He uniquely qualified me to reach the people in my life. You are where you are for a reason and you are who you are for a reason. God designed YOU specifically. You weren’t an accident. Your personality and sense of humor and instant joys aren’t accidents. They’re your flashlights. All you have to do is switch on the power and be bold enough to venture where God calls you. Hey Alexa, play Flashlight by Jessie J.

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