According to scientists, the common lightning bug gives off 1/40th of the light of a normal candle. So if you had 40 lightning bugs all clumped together, and if you could get them to all light up at the same time and stay lit, you would have the equivalent of one candle’s worth of light.
We don’t have lightning bugs in our area, so when we were visiting family up north this summer, we took our grandkids out after dark to let them have a lightning bug experience. And they were everywhere! (The bugs, not the grandkids.) We had no trouble spotting them, even though their lights were so tiny.
Ah, but it’s not so much the lights, but the darkness that is the key, right? A lightning bug could throw his master switch to full power at three o’clock in the afternoon, and it wouldn’t matter. He’d be invisible.
Perhaps you see yourself as a lightning bug…someone who doesn’t have much light to offer the world. What you must remember is that because the world is growing so dark, your little light will indeed make a difference.
Jesus affirmed this when he spoke of the importance of giving a thirsty person a cup of water. (Mark 9:41) Such an act seems so small, but remember how dark the world was when Jesus spoke those words. Beggars lined the streets of Judea. Mugging victims lay helpless along the roadways and there was very little compassion in the hearts of most people, including the religious crowd. (Remember the parable of the Good Samaritan?) In such a dark, uncaring world, even giving someone a drink of water is an act of significance.
Don’t ever think that because you’re not able to shine a really bright light, you might as well not even bother to shine at all. This is a very dark world and we need all the light we can get.
For further reflection read Matthew 5:14-16 and Philippians 2:15.