A preacher used an illustration that drew the attention of hymn writer Phillip Bliss one evening. Bliss (1838-1876) wrote several hymns like, “Almost Persuaded,” and “I Will Sing of My Redeemer.”
The preacher said, “Lake Erie had waves that night that rolled like mountains and not a star was visible in the cloudy sky. The freighter ship the men were in rocked and pitched as the waves tossed it. A worried captain hurried to the wheelhouse and asked the pilot, ‘Are you sure this is Cleveland harbor?’
The pilot peered through the window and said to the captain, ‘I hope so, sir.’
‘Where are the lower lights?’ the captain asked.
‘Gone out, sir,’ the pilot said.
‘Can you make it in?’ the captain asked worriedly.
‘We must, or we will perish,” the pilot said.
But the boat perished in a dark, watery grave. All aboard perished.”
The preacher concluded, ‘The Master will take care of the great lighthouse; let us keep the lower lights burning.’”
That is the story of how “Let the Lower Lights Be Burning” was written by Bliss.
Each of us have influence. We can either influence others for God, or we can influence them to live their lives according to the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4).
My wife and I once spent a week traveling up the eastern coast of Michigan near Lake Huron. At Bay City, the St. Clair River empties into Huron and it is possible to stand on the U.S. side of the river and see Canada, the river, and the lake. On each side of the channel are “lower lights” to direct ships into and out of the river safely.
My friend, are your lights on? Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven,” (Matthew 5:16).
Bliss’ song tells us, “Brightly beams our Father’s mercy, from his lighthouse ever more; but, to us, he gives the keeping of the lights along the shore.”
Can others see your Christian light?