A Lighthouse for Jesus
Christians have often been compared favorably with a lighthouse for several compelling reasons, most notably because of the words of Jesus Himself: “Ye are the light of the world,” (Matthew 5:14) and “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16) Few things draw as much interest or pride as the stately, endurable and majestic lighthouses which dot our nation’s shorelines.
Cape Hatteras, known as “America’s lighthouse” is the tallest of its kind at 198 feet. Its beacon light can be seen for 20 miles out at sea. It was first built in 1802 on the Outer Banks of North Carolina to warn ships of treacherous Diamond Shoals, a 12-mile sandbar just offshore that caused many devastating shipwrecks over the years. It has become one of America’s favorite tourist attractions and a special favorite of school children who eagerly climb its 268 steps for a better view of the Atlantic. It is symbolic of everything that is good and enduring in America.
Lighthouses are there for one reason: to warn ships of danger and point them toward a safe place. They cannot themselves save ships if they begin to founder. They have no power of their own. They can only provide light in the darkness of night and give comfort and hope to the fearful. For them, the blacker the night, the brighter the light.
Point to Christ
And so it is with God’s children. We cannot of ourselves save anyone from an eternity apart from God. We can only point them to Christ, to His safe haven, and warn them of the certain dangers ahead they will surely face without Him. For many, we provide the only light they will ever see, a very sobering thought that drives committed Christians continually to their knees for God’s strength to empower them.
Lighthouses are carefully designed, constructed and made ready to do their work in the bitterest, harshest conditions, confident that their structure is strong and will not fail during the severest storms.
As Christians, we through study and preparation work in some of the hardest places both at home and abroad to do the work to which God has called us. He equips His children, He provides His strength through a good foundation in His Word and He wraps them in the protective layers of His love to withstand any assault. Then He covers them with the whole armor of God.
Lighthouses are there for the duration. They can be counted on by the ships at sea to always be at their post without excuse, providing that necessary and comforting light for which they were created.
Christian as Lighthouse
Christians as a lighthouse exhibit that same dependability, not changing the direction of their beacon lights at a whim, not giving inconsistent lighting that shines brightly some nights but which is dimmed the next, but always in place for God to provide through their testimonies hope and help to the hurting, the desperate, the grieving and lost.
Lighthouses stand a lonely vigil. Often there is nothing else around, their beacon light high off the ground, a quiet night sentry to the ships at sea without regard for their own safety or pleasure.
Christians similarly are often called by God to the loneliest mission station in undeveloped countries, to a small mountain church, which gives little support or encouragement, or to an inner-city ministry, which, though surrounded by the madding crowd, gives new depth and definition to the word “lonely” But these brave workers
maintain their vigil, focused on their raison d’etre, purposing in their hearts to be faithful to their calling.
And finally, lighthouses brave the bitterest storms on earth when the thrashing winds of hurricanes threaten their foundations, flood their entries, beat with blinding rain against their beacon lights, making every attempt to render the lighthouse helpless, collapsing into a pile of useless rubble. Yet, they stand. Bruised but not laid barren, lightly damaged but not destroyed.
So it is with the children of God, who are not exempt from the fierce winds of destruction that Satan continually directs at them, Still, they stand, these sturdy, committed human lighthouses, beaten but not broken, bearing the battle scars which will one day be turned into glorious crowns. Those missionaries who suffered for Christ in Japanese concentration camps, those who were beheaded by the Viet Cong, those who were gunned down or tortured in Indonesia, as well as the devoted husband who lovingly ministered to his ailing wife for years until God called her home or the godly mother who visited her incarcerated son for years for a heinous crime he committed; these were all keepers of the Light in the most devastating storms of life.
These are the faithful warriors about whom God will one day announce proudly before the throngs of heaven,
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant….
Enter thou into the joy of the Lord.” (Matthew 25:21)
© 2008 Mariane Holbrook
Mariane is a retired teacher, an author of two books, a musician and artist.