The Glow Stick Analogy
The following is not an original thought; rather, one I borrowed from Pastor James Ford from a message that he preached at Moody Bible Institute’s Founder’s Week 2013. The illustration was so simple; and yet, it drove home a very important point. At the risk of mutulating the analogy, I would like to share it with you in my own words . . . .
Christians, are a lot like glow sticks. We are designed to serve the same purpose. What? You can’t see the connection? Then, let me ask you this: what is the purpose of a glow stick? To provide light in an otherwise dark circumstance/place. Okay . . . So, what then, does Matthew 5:14-16 tell us about ourselves? It tells us that we are the light of the world; and, that we should let our lights shine before others . . . So again, Christians and glow sticks . . . built for the same purpose . . . Now that we have that settled, let’s move on . . .
So the creator of the glow stick put inside of it a substance that would allow it to illuminate, or provide light. In the same way, we are made to be filled with the Holy Spirit through which we are to be a light to the world. If you have ever seen an activated glow stick, you know that they give off a soft but intense light bright enough to find your way through most any darkeness. Well, if you have ever seen an activated Christian, they also have an intense glow about them, soft and warm, yet able to be a beacon for others . . . You get where I’m going with this so far?
Here’s where it gets better . . . A glow stick fresh out of the package does not automatically glow . . . Being a Christian does not mean that we will automatically “glow” either. Something has to happen before a glow stick provides it glow; and, the same holds true for Christians. In order for a glow stick to work properly – to provide its glow, a glow stick has to be broken – it has to be snapped . . . Did you hear me? You have to break it in order to activate it. Not only do you have to snap it, you also have to shake it; because, the more you shake it, the more intense the glow becomes. God never told us that to become a Christian means that we would automatically glow and that everything would be rose pedals and puppy dog kisses. In fact, He promised us that we would be tested – and on a regular basis, I might add. We will be BROKEN and SHAKEN vigorously in our walk; but, guess what: Our brokeness and our shaken condition will produce a light in us so intense that the world cannot help but to notice – “…A city on a hill cannot be hidden”!
And before you start to point out that a glow stick only stays lit for a limited time, let me share with you this: the creator of the glow stick put just enough substance in it to its job for a specified period in time – this is called the lifespan of the glow stick. God did the samething with you and I. Our lifetime has been forseen and planned by God already (Jeremiah 1:5); which means, we need to make the most of our light while it shines . . .
Glow sticks and Christians are just alike. You can call me crazy if you want; but, it’s no accident that we are . . . . God bless!