At the end of a long, humid summer day in Michigan, I felt a cool breeze stir the air as the sun went down. I clipped a leash to my dog’s collar and slid on my shoes for a walk around the neighborhood. Fireflies flashed in the shadows. The streets were empty and still. The moon, a sliver of light in the darkening sky, drew my eyes upward again and again.
Despite the beauty around me, that night I felt so very small and unseen. Doubts I could usually suppress filled my mind, and I wondered,
Did I do enough today?
Does my family know how much I love them?
When will God answer my prayers?
I’m trying so hard, but maybe it’s all for nothing.
Looking up at the moon once more, I remembered how that barren ball of rock holds no light of its own. Only the sun’s reflection on its surface gives it beauty, purpose, or name.
Was I really so different from the moon?
Perhaps you, too, feel unnoticed and insignificant today. You don’t think you’re much to look at. Compared to everybody else, you feel like you don’t stand out and shine. When you speak, it seems like your thoughts and insights are disregarded. You wonder if you hold influence over your children any longer. Your spouse seems distant and bored in the marriage. Painful struggles have beaten down your hopes for tomorrow. Your spirit is weary and dry, and you crave the sense of joyful purpose that once lit up your life.
If that’s you, you are not alone. And I have a simple, yet deeply profound, truth to share with you.
Like the moon, God “knows how we are formed; he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14). He has compassion for our weakness as human beings. In his great love, He created us to reflect His light just as the moon reflects the sun. Jesus says, “You are the light of the world… let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14,16). He set you in this world just as he placed the moon in the sky—to reflect His light so you can shine in His love.
My friend, you matter. You are seen by the One who created you in every unique detail. You’ve been gifted by the Spirit and purposed with “good works” that God “prepared in advance” for you to do (Ephesians 2:10).
God hears your prayers and will make his Word come alive in your heart and mind.
He will give you gentle, heart-changing responses to your child’s emotional outbursts.
He will strengthen you to meaningfully support your spouse, your family, and your community.
In your work or education, He can supply you with creative solutions to succeed and build teamwork with your peers.
When your resources have run dry, He wants to provide and get you through.
His grace will enable you to forgive and demonstrate compassion when you’ve been offended.
When His calling seems too difficult or overwhelming, He’ll make you brave.
When you feel purposeless, He wants to remind you of the deep purpose He has set before you and the eternal love He has for you.
As a member of His family, you’re an irreplaceable part of the body of Christ. God’s glorious light will be made known because of you.
God is ready to refresh your spirit today. Remember who He says you are. See—really see—all the ways you make a difference in your world. Celebrate how far you’ve come and the anticipation of what’s ahead. Place your time and attention, assets and abilities in His hands. Lean into His love and purpose when you start to feel empty.
His love changes everything, and that is significant.
A prayer for today:
It’s hard to see that I’m needed, wanted, or special to anyone. My abilities are so ordinary compared to the talents and skills of those around me. My words fall on deaf ears, it seems, when I’m eager to encourage or counsel the ones I love. I want to believe you hold purpose for my life, but today I don’t feel I make a difference to anyone.
Thank you for your love that cherishes me just as I am. I never have to impress you or earn your favor. I am not remarkable, yet you promise my life will count because you planned my days before the creation of the world. Use me today, Father, to love. To help. To influence and turn others’ eyes to you. Breathe your joy and life in me so that I reflect you to everyone I encounter. May I live, move, and have my being in you alone (Acts 17:28).