While at Family Camp, a conversation came up about old camp songs. “Kumbaya” was at the top of everyone’s list, but at the top of mine was a little song I learned when I was in elementary school. A friend of mine, who had just returned from camp, was singing it and I asked her to teach me the song. I loved the easy lyrics and melody and I began singing it all the time, even though I didn’t really understand what it meant. I didn’t come to know the Lord until I was an adult, but that little song was like a seed planted in my heart. So, when this song came up at Family Camp, I sang the little tune. A couple of my grandkids were sitting there listening and simply gave me a nod when I was done. “That’s really cute.” my granddaughter said with a little grin. We just giggled and moved on to some other old camp songs.
But I keep thinking about that little song. For me, the sweetest part of this hymn are the words, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going.” and maybe that’s why I found it so endearing at such a young age. Even then, I always believed that my purpose in life was to be a spark in this world; to spark inspiration and encouragement into the people in my little piece of the world.
My tidbits of encouragement are always about hope and silver linings, but I do that with one foot on the ground and lots of experience with life’s ups and downs. While I’ve always had a positive attitude about life, I do know that sometimes being a “spark” isn’t easy when faced with life’s challenges. Life isn’t perfect and sometimes it’s hard to see our way out of the forest. Happiness isn’t a constant state of being and worry can’t be wished away with optimistic quips and quotes. Change can be earth-shaking and filled with worry and doubt.
But I also know that even in our darkest moments, God will help us find our “spark” and will remind us that all things – not some things, many things, or most things – I repeat, ALL things, are possible through Him who gives us strength.
It only takes a spark to get a fire going
And soon all those around can warm up to its glowing
That’s how it is with God’s love
Once you’ve experienced it
You spread His love, to everyone
You want to pass it on.
It was such a simple little campfire song with such a powerful message and now, as a mature follower of Christ, I know it’s full meaning. We are called, as believers, to share our faith. We should have so much hope in Christ that we want to pass it on! We know full well, especially living here in California, that it only takes a spark to set a blazing and destructive fire. But the spark that we, as believers, must share is positive and life-giving. We should be intentional and prayerful in how we use this God-given spark. Whether it’s to share the gospel message to someone who doesn’t know Jesus, or to bring that hope and light back into someone who’s faith has been shaken, pray that we see this spark come ablaze in those that God puts in our circle of influence.
What spark has God lit in you…or is trying to light in you?
What is He compelling you to do?
Do you see that someone’s spark is fizzling?
Who is He telling you to reach out to?
Friends, a spark is a smile, an encouraging word or text message, an invitation for coffee, a powerful verse, a hug, your attention and time, a meal, a prayer, a conversation on the phone or in person, an encouraging note in the mail, or a link to a song that just seems so perfect.
Some sparks seem so small, while others seem huge. But both types of sparks are of vital use for God’s glory. One of the greatest disservices we do to ourselves, in our life with Christ, is feel that what we do is too little and not very important. But one little spark spreads faith, encouragement, and hope. Just one little spark! It’s important that we listen for His calling and that we share and serve however small or big that might seem. He leads us and will take our little spark to get the fire going.
I will make you a LIGHT for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.
I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.