Several years ago, we went to the Battery Point Lighthouse museum in Crescent City, CA. Among the things there was the original lens for the lighthouse. They showed where it originally hung, placed so the sun would shine through it and demonstrate its ability to refract light.
The problem was that it so magnified the sunlight that it nearly caught the wall on fire! It was promptly moved to a place where the sun didn’t hit it directly.
This chunk of glass, used in the lighthouse, is called a fourth-order Fresnel lens, and is very fascinating. Although it’s not very tall (about chest-height), it’s light can be seen up to 20 miles away.
As you can see here, through it’s many prisms, light is greatly magnified.
Ooh! Aah! So what?
Well, of course you know this has something to do with Jesus!
In and of ourselves, we have no light. (For I know that good itself does not dwell in me…Romans 7:18a). We were not meant to be the light;
Jesus is the light of the world.
However, we are the lens!
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
All those trials? The chipping, grinding, and shaping we’ve been through? Umm hmm, they have been necessary so that the Lord’s light is magnified through us!
If the glass in the picture above were as thick as its widest part, light would be enlarged somewhat. This is how old TV screens were formed so a small picture could be made bigger.
As glass is removed, though, prisms are formed and instead of the light being increased a bit, now it is actually sent forth through the lens.
In the same way, as more of our old nature is removed, Jesus can shine further and brighter through us!
He must increase, but I must decrease.
Every facet is precisely shaped and angled in such a way as to give maximum refraction…
of the Light within.
Do all things without murmurings and disputings:That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. Philippians 2:14-15
It only takes a small amount of light, set in the center of our lives, however small they may be by the world’s standards, to magnify Jesus to the world around us.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
As we decrease in thickness and become more transparent, and as our facets (gifts) are exposed, the Light of Jesus becomes brighter and brighter. It’s not about our “size” – in fact, when it comes to reflecting and refracting His Light, less is more!
So, when we look at our ministry and think of it as a small matter, and of little significance, remember that
size doesn’t matter!