Fire and Light (by Len Winneroski)

Unknown“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (New International Version)

Have you every heard of something called an arc fault circuit interrupter? I hadn’t until yesterday. Apparently the state of Indiana does not require them and our house could have burnt down because we don’t have them in our fuse box.  Let me explain.  Our main kitchen lights were flickering this week.  I thought that we had a bad light bulb so I did not think much of it until the kids said, “dad I hear something crackling in the wall.”  When I investigated their claim further, I heard the crackling sound too and noticed that one of the other light switches that is in the same circuit as the main kitchen lights was sparking!

According to a brochure that the electrician left with us, “National fire statistics from the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission show that more than 40,000 fires are caused each year by problems with home electrical wiring.  For the past 10 years, electrical wiring systems have been the leading cause of fire deaths involving electrical equipment, claiming nearly 350 lives each year.  These deaths and fires cost society over $2 billion annually.”

If I understand it correctly, arc fault circuit interrupters monitor the difference between the current leaving the circuit box and the current coming back into the box.  If the current isn’t exactly the same the circuit breaks.  I had a wall switch with a bad connection that was creating an arc fault, which was generating heat instead of light.  An arc fault circuit interrupter in my fuse box it would have sensed the loss in current from my bad switch and turned the current off, preventing a potential fire.

As I was praising God yesterday for protecting my family from a near disaster, it occurred to me that sometimes my connection with God is a lot like that bad switch in my kitchen. When it is not so great my life generates more heat than light.  Jesus said that His brothers and sisters are to be the light of the world and that we should let our light shine before men to bring glory to our heavenly Father (Hebrews 2:10-18).   When my light flickers due to a bad connection with God I generate unproductive heat and become more of a distraction than a blessing to those around me.  In Philippians 2:14-16 Paul said, “do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”

Dear Jesus, thank you for keeping my family safe this week.  Forgive me when I create more heat than light and  I am more of a distraction than a blessing to those around me.  Help my light to shine more consistently so that you will be glorified.

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