This Little Light of Mine

It's been a week of burn-out. Defeating, exhausting, overwhelming burn-out.

I've started each morning like I always do-- a few snoozes, a few stretches, then spending time in the Word and reading my devotions. Big mugs of coffee. Big, cozy sweatshirts. This time is sweet, slow, and simple. It does my soul so much good. I feel refreshed and ready for the day. I feel like I struck a match and lit a candle that brightens the space around it and sweetens the air.

Then, the rest of the day comes.

The flames I've lit in the morning, the fuel I've fed my soul, they're snuffed out. And I let it happen. It's like I put the lid on the burning candle, the flickering glow struggling to stay alive but succumbing to the lack of oxygen within seconds.

I feel like those flames tonight.

A stronger source first set me ablaze, and I tried to shine brightly with my little light, but day after day, my flame has burned out. I've felt suffocated, frustrated, stuck. It's been a week of burn-out.

I've tried to explain it, tried to put this mood into words to friends who know me well, and words wouldn't come. And those friends didn't understand. They suggested solitude, silence, stillness.

But I've been doing that. Every morning. Every evening. Every weekend. Why isn't that enough?

Where is the disconnect between my little light and my Giver of light? Why can my little light not stay shining? Why have these days brought burn-out, not brightening?

My little light has left the source of the flame. I've gladly received the light, then I've turned away and tried to keep it ablaze on my own. Thanks, God, for giving me this light. Now, I'll take it from here. I've got this. You can go on and keep lighting other flames now, mine's glowing good and strong here, see? I'm shining on my own strength.

But then, I'm not. What a joke that I thought I could. My flame goes out when I think I've got this life thing figured out on my own. My flame goes out when I read the Word in the morning and leave it all on the dining room table instead of living it. My flame goes out when I leave the Giver of light behind, forgetting He's what made my little light shine in the first place.

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. Don't let Satan blow it out, I'm gonna let it shine.

I know that burn-out when the candle is blown out. I know it all too well.

When Satan comes and threatens to steal my flame, I'm going to let it shine.

When frustrations come and threaten to steal my flame, I'm going to let it shine.

When stresses come and threaten to steal my flame, I'm going to let it shine.

I am not the source of strength, the source of light. I cannot sustain my life on my own. I flicker and fade when I forget the Gospel, when I forget truth, when I forget how desperately I need rescue and a Savior.

I'll leave you with this, because this was everything I needed.

This preaching gospel to yourself daily isn’t cliche — it’s critical. Otherwise it’s your very life that’s in critical condition.

When you fail and you bleed fallen and you’re the mess just wild to somehow make it, it’s inhaling the Gospel that heals — Blessed assurance, Jesus assures: You don’t have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps — you only have to pull close to God.

It’s the gospel in shorthand and pure relief: My hope isn’t built on my performance but on Jesus’ righteousness.

The flesh is always performance driven and everyday I need to become Cross-centered again.

And no one needs the Gospel only once — because all the bad days need the Good News of His grace again and again.
— Ann Voskamp

The above quote can be found in this full post.