Anong and Nin leaned against the Nawarat Bridge in Chiang Mai and stared up at the night sky. The normally dark sky was lit up with hundreds of glowing lanterns slowly floating upward like dancing stars.
"I love the Loy Krathong festival," said Anong. "It's so beautiful!"
"It really is amazing," agreed Anong's older sister, Nin.
"But it's sad that people think they're releasing their sins as they launch their lanterns into the sky," Anong added. "I wish they had the hope of Jesus."
"Yes," said Nin thoughtfully. "It is sad, but I think that's part of the reason why God placed us in Thailand."
"What do you mean?" Anong asked.
"Come with me." Nin handed a few baht coins to a street vendor and purchased what appeared to be some neatly folded pieces of white paper. "We are like this lantern," Nin said as she began to unfold the paper and fluff it out to reveal a paper lantern.
"How are we like a lantern?" Anong asked skeptically.
"We're just plain paper," Nin explained, "but when Jesus comes into our lives He gives us His light." Nin lit the small wick inside the paper lantern.
"Wow! Look at that!" said Anong. "The lantern is glowing so brightly now. It's beautiful!"
"Will you help me release it?" Nin asked. Together the sisters launched the glowing lantern into the night sky. As they watched it float upwards, Nin said, "We are just like the lantern because Jesus lights us up on the inside so we can shine for Him."
"Just like the lanterns glowing in the dark sky!" Anong exclaimed.
"Exactly," said Nin. "I think God placed us in Thailand so we can shine as lights in the darkness and tell people about the forgiveness Jesus offers because He died for our sins on the cross."
"Wow!" said Anong. "Thinking about us being lights in the world makes the Loy Krathong festival even more special!"
"I agree," said Nin as she hugged her little sister and they gazed up at the glowing lanterns. Rachel VrugginkHOW ABOUT YOU?
How can you shine as a light in the country, neighborhood, and school where God has placed you? What are some ways you can point others to the hope of Jesus? The Bible says we point others to Jesus when we do good deeds that honor Him. When we show kindness, forgiveness, and generosity, we are shining the light of Jesus to others.
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: Matthew 5:16 (KJV)
Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (NIV)