Susie and her mother were visiting Grandma. Susie had learned a new song — at least it was new to her. Over and over again she sang:
"This little light of mine,
I'm going to let it shine."
"I like that little song, Susie," Grandma said, "Where did you learn it?"
"At Sunday school," answered Susie.
"Well, well," said Grandma, "now I'll sing a song for you that I learned in Sunday school when I was a little girl."
And Grandma sang just as lovely a song as Susie did. This was her song:
"Jesus bids us shine with a pure, clear light,
Like a little candle burning in the night;
In this world of darkness, so we must shine—
You in your small corner, and I in mine."
"Do you know what that reminds me of?" asked Susie's mother. "I'm remembering a little candle that was burning one night a long time ago that saved our lives. Do you remember that candle?" she asked Grandma.
Grandma would never forget! It happened when Susie's mother (whose name was Jeanne) was a little girl. Jeanne and her parents lived in an area called "Florida Beach." Florida Beach was a stretch of sand along the east coast of Florida with water on both sides. During severe storms and hurricanes with high tides and high waves, the ocean waves would wash over this narrow strip of sand.
One day the path of a hurricane passed near where they lived. The winds had become very strong and the waves very high. Jeanne and her mother watched the water swirling higher and higher. It felt as if their house were going to collapse and they were afraid. "I wish Daddy were home!" Jeanne could remember thinking: "He would know what to do."
Finally she and her mother decided to go to Aunt Mary and Uncle Jim's house which was just up the beach. Although they got soaking wet from the high water and the wind-driven rain, they were able to reach Uncle Jim's safely.
The four were glad to be together. Soon the high water would be swirling around Uncle Jim's house, too. They would have to try to get to the mainland!
All four got into Uncle Jim's car. The waters swirled against it, but they decided they had to try to reach the mainland anyway. They would have to take the road to the bridge which crossed the Intercoastal Waterway to the mainland. But there was so much water swirling around that they couldn't see the road; they could only guess where it was. They had made that short trip so many times in good weather; now it seemed to take forever. As the water rose higher and higher Uncle Jim drove slower and slower. They began to wonder if they had made a mistake in leaving home. Maybe they couldn't make it to the mainland!
They were almost to the bridge when they drove off the road into a ditch. The car got stuck and water started to pour in. It didn't take long for them to see that if they stayed in the car they would drown. There was only one choice left — leave the car behind and start walking.
The wind tore at them. Palm trees had been blown down everywhere. They waded through water that was nearly two feet deep. They were wet and cold and it was getting dark. They hardly knew where to go.
It was then that one of them spotted a little glimmer of light. It was only a candle, but that candle showed them the way to a house that was still safe. The people who lived there had placed the candle in the window for that very reason — to guide people to their home. Inside there was protection and warmth.
The two songs that Susie and her grandmother had sung were both about a candle. They tell us that those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour should be a light shining out to others. Our light doesn't have to be a big one. The light shining in the window that saved four people from the hurricane was just one small candle. Even just a small light looks bright when all around it is dark. The Lord Jesus said, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12). If we let even a little of His light shine out in our lives, it will be bright in this dark, sinful world around us. Won't you let your light shine for Him?
Jesus bids us shine first of all for Him;
Well He sees and knows it if our light grows dim:
He looks down from heaven, to see us shine—
You in your small corner, and I in mine,
Jesus bids us shine next for all around;
Many kinds of darkness in this world abound,
Sin and want and sorrow; so we must shine—
You in your small corner, and I in mine.
"I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness" (John 12:46).