I recently ventured into the woods as a dazzling sunset made its way behind the hills of a fabulous state park in eastern Oklahoma. As darkness thickened, the sounds of nightfall tickled my ears as an orchestra of nocturnal creatures performed for an audience of one.
The deeper I ventured into the woods, the more impressive the performance became. The simple sound of nature at play was magnificent.
As I opened my eyes, I was greeted with the second act. A brilliant lightshow danced before my eyes as fireflies made their entrance on the stage of the forest. Hundreds of glowing fireflies seemingly floated in mid-air among the trees. They were there and gone again in a flash, appearing once again within a few feet of their last illumination. It was as if they had synchronized their choreography with the crickets, cicadas and bullfrogs. The woods came alive with the sounds of music, and I had a front row seat.
My mind drifted back to when I was a young boy as my brother and I chased lightning bugs, another common name for fireflies, from one yard to the next. It was a time when neighborhoods were void of fences and young lads were free to play from house-to-house.
The lightning bugs fascinated us. Were they electrically charged? Did they actually stoke a fire in their bellies in order to light up the night? Apprehending a lightning bug was part luck and part skill. Elusive as they were, occasionally being at the right place at the right time proved effective.
As it turns out, God created fireflies with an innate ability to communicate through the use of light. Bioluminescence is the phenomenon of light emission by living organisms. This is exhibited in many insects, but best by lightning bugs.
Each lightning bug species has a specific flash pattern. Certain lightning bugs flash continuously. Others utilize single flashes. Some incorporate a series of multi-pulsed flashes, while a few don’t flash at all.
Lightning bugs are a lot like Christians. God recreated us with an innate ability to be light in a dark world. Some of our lights flash continuously, while some of our lights tend to be on the blink or not functioning at all.
Matthew 5:16 says, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” We are all called to be lightning bugs, fireflies for Jesus, as the magnificence of His presence shines through our very lives.
It is the light from within that makes a firefly attractive. A lightning bug without its light is nothing more than an ugly beetle. It is the Light from within that makes a believer attractive. A life enlightened by Him is never satisfied with darkness, but rather seeks to shine in order to draw others from the perils of the night.