“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. —Philippians 2:14-16.

“The Impossible” is a 2012 movie based on a family’s true story of surviving the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that struck the beaches of Phuket, Thailand. Married couple, Henry and Maria, are separated in the initial wave, caught by the current and dragged apart into a nightmare. The oldest son, Lucas, immediately finds Maria in the midst of the wave. Fearing another tsunami wave, Lucas guides his mother towards higher ground. Maria hears a child crying, and convinces her reluctant son they must find and help that child. “Even if it’s the last thing we do,” we should help others. That is what Maria tells her son before they rescue the crying child.

It’s incredibly easy to turn inward and think of only ourselves during our life’s storms. God calls on us to let our light shine for the world. Compassion is a key characteristic among us as followers of Christ in reaching out for those who are in need. We can pray for those who are hurting, encourage others, send a note, or provide a helping hand. We cannot help everyone in every way, but we can help someone in some way. There are people all around us who need help, and we can be that someone for at least one other person.

While waiting for his mother to recover in a Thai hospital, Lucas found himself helping individuals connect with their families. His efforts brought hope and healing to those who were hit by the wave. God works with us to carry out the impossible to help others. We can be like everyone else and focus on just surviving and taking care of only ourselves, or we can be Christ-like and turn outwards focusing our efforts on helping others who are in trouble.

We are a light that needs to shine before people. In the Gospel of John, Jesus is called “The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone…” (John 1:9). Throughout the New Testament, the followers of Jesus are called to be lights in the darkness. That often means we have to put ourselves out there, because a lamp is meant to be placed on a stand to give light to everything around it. Whether you’re timid or outgoing, you’re called to be a light to the people around you. That’s only possible if you’re taking time to interact with people and cultivate relationships while pointing everyone back to the light source, Jesus Christ.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why do you think, or feel, God wants you to help others in times when you are going through your own storms?
  2. How does helping others during your own storm differ from what the world expects of someone experiencing a life storm?
  3. Where, or in what context, do you believe your light shines the brightest? How have you seen God use your “light” in other peoples lives?
  4. Where is God challenging you to let your light shine in a dark place?