Former Beatle John Lennon noted that “life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.”  I find myself in one of those periods where life has interjected itself messily into my other plans. The desire to be a light in a dark world is tough when you struggle some days to see the light. A song by  David Crowder Band lifted my heart today.

The song is called “SMS(Shine)”and Crowder recalled the creative process in an interview with NewReleaseTuesday.com.

“The funny thing about this song is that when we talked about writing the song, it was based on such a simple idea. We were thinking back to our childhoods and singing “I’m gonna let it shine.” So the song started from the simple idea from Matthew 5:17, “let your light shine before men,” and the children’s song about not hiding our light. Something that sounds so simple when we are children can get beaten down in our adult lives.”

The lyrics ask God to send a sign to let us know we are not alone.

Send me a sign
A hint, a whisper
Throw me a line
'Cause I am listening

Come break the quiet
Breathe your awakening
Bring me to light
'Cause I am fainting

During the interview David Crowder described how the group struggled to find the right words to communicate his need to feel God’s presence.

“To wrap up the chorus, we kept working on different lines to end it. I was in Florida when that line finally hit me. It’s exactly what you described, when you are in that place when you feel the bleakest, it’s hardest to find hope. It feels impossible to find hope on your own. That’s what’s beautiful is that you don’t have to find hope on your own. You need to turn to God. The story line of the song is that redemption wraps around our hearts. The video shows that as a plant that represents life envelops us and grows and grows. You are in the embrace of God. When you are overcome and feel the bleakest, that’s when grace is the most potent.”

Shine Your light so I can see You
Pull me up I need to be near You
Hold me I need to feel love
Can You overcome this heart that's overcome

I love the lyrics because it rightly takes away my self-efforts to experience God’s grace. I spent too many years trying to shine my own light so God would be pleased with me. I spent too many frustrating years trying to pull myself up so God would bless me. I wasted too many years trying to love God more by clinch-jawed determination instead of simply being still and letting Him love me as He wanted to all along.

The Gospel of Matthew tells us that we are to “shine” so that God will be praised.

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”  (Matthew 5, NLT)

But David Crowder’s song reminds me of a lesson learned over many years. I have to receive the light to reflect it. We have several solar lamps in our backyard. If they do not receive sunshine during the day they are just sticks in the ground. But after a day of sunshine they glow all night. I am the same. If I am still and let God shine His love into my heart then I can love others out of that light. Simple concept. Not sure why it took me so long to figure out. So the chorus of "SMS (Shine)" is my prayer today.

Shine Your light so all can see it
Lifted up 'cause the whole world needs it
Love has come what joy to hear it
He has overcome

I can handle life’s interruptions because I know that He has overcome.