Yesterday my wife and I were in Southern California. We enjoyed the beautiful sunny weather and clear skies. We repeatedly told each other, “It doesn’t feel like Christmas.”

This seemed ironic since I had spent the month of December in So Cal for over 40 years!

Yet now we live in Washington state and we’ve started enjoying the seasons and particularly how green it is outside with the thousands of pine trees all around us. Just sitting in our living room and looking out the large front windows often feels like we are at a camp in the woods. It’s amazing and beautiful!

But back to the sunshine in Santa Clarita yesterday. As we came outside after enjoying a time of worship and teaching at Northpark Church, we were struck by the brightness of the sun! Without any sunglasses, I found myself squinting at the sunshine.

I realized immediately that this was something foreign to me now. While I had been squinting quite frequently during the more than four decades I lived in California, I realized that I don’t squint much at all in Washington state. (Even though many believe it always rains here in Washington, I’ve discovered it doesn’t rain as much as those here want Californians to think it does.)

Nonetheless, squinting is rare here and frequent in Southern California.

This got me to thinking about my own aversion to squinting, and how much better it is not to have to squint.

While I do miss the beach and the sunny days of my past life in sunny California (and of course In-N-Out Burger), I find that I really don’t miss squinting.

Squinting is really only necessary when there is an abundance of brightness!

Jesus told His followers in Matthew 5,

“You are the light of the world. A city 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 men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Is anyone around you squinting?

Do they see your good deeds shining through and give praise to God in heaven?

While I have an aversion to squinting at the sun, I don’t ever get tired of seeing followers of Jesus whose light is shining brightly!

So how bright is your light shining?

Today’s Missional Challenge

Let your light shine…so others see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven!