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Solange Nicole once said, “A diamond does not start out polished and shining. It once was nothing special, but with enough pressure and time, it becomes spectacular.” Each of you who start your efforts in the mission field, both home and abroad, are very much like that ‘diamond in the rough’ – through perseverance and time Jesus shines through you. Some call it a long obedience in the same direction.

God wants nothing more than to bless you and He also wants you to bless those around you. Today, many believe God is angry with them, because of the ongoing worldly blasting that occurs all around us. As ophthalmic missionaries it remains God’s intent that we strive to bless others in the journey ahead.

As ophthalmologists, we are truly blessed to dialogue readily with those living in darkness and to literally change their situation to that of light, color, and radiance. As believers, we reside and work in what at times is a dark world, but we can bring the Light of God to those living in darkness so they can live in the light. “For it is light that makes everything visible” (Ephesians 5:13-14). When light touches something, it becomes light, and to some degree the object itself gives off light and is converted or changed. By nature, light is more powerful than darkness as it literally changes environments and lives and in our profession…..eyesight.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

“The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So, let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (Romans 13:12-14)

Whether in the ‘light’ of the intellectual truth found in God’s word or the “light” of moral deeds, as believers we are in the light because we have been intellectually and morally changed by Jesus and the Word of God.

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.” (Ephesians 5:8)

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?" (Psalm 27:1)

We were not ‘in darkness’, we were darkness before coming to Christ. Miraculously, we now experience the nature of God – ‘light’ and ‘salvation.’ We not only know His nature, but we also have His nature.

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Cor 4:4)

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Cor 1:18)

Being a light in our work, our homes, and where we go to church is a challenge. The surrounding worldly noise we are constantly barraged with and the fears of the future or of failure or what others might think of us can choke out the light. The world’s rejection of the gospel or calling it foolish can bring us down or cause doubt. However, God is at work in our hearts to will and do of His good pleasure, to guide each of us by His peace, and to give us the power and wisdom of God to persevere and become radiant like diamonds.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matt 5:14-16)

Let us not lose heart in doing good. Let us not withdraw from the world around us, or be of it. Instead let's set ourselves apart by God’s world of truth found in His word. Let the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ penetrate every area of our life and be reflected to those who live in darkness.

2 Corinthians 9:8 offers us encouragement:

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work”.

Indeed, we are very blessed to bless others….