Elizabeth Schenkel
Tue March 27, 2018 · Comments

Some people just shine

When I was a brand new in my faith, I met an older woman named Margaret. Margaret's face always seemed to be lit up with the love of God. The light of the resurrection, new life, and hope came glowing through her when she entered a room.

In my youthful naiveté, I assumed that since Margaret was such a joyful person, she must surely have a wonderful and easy life. Imagine my surprise when I learned that she was married to a confirmed alcoholic, a difficult man. I began to look more closely at her face and listen more closely to her words and I could see small signs of her suffering from time to time. I heard it in her prayers for her husband. I saw it in her compassion and activism on behalf of others who suffered. She wasn't hiding her suffering. She was navigating through her difficult life with faith—faith in Jesus' resurrection.

Margaret surrendered herself to the light. She prayed, she gave thanks, she even rejoiced in her suffering. Her light shone into the darkness of her husband's alcoholism and that darkness only brightened the light within her. I pondered about how she could be so joyful in spite of her difficult life.

The nature of the light that is within believers is of the resurrection. We have within us a light that cannot be extinguished by anything in this world. Not even death itself can extinguish this light. Our light is Jesus and He has overcome every kind of darkness and death that the enemy and this world will ever have. Darkness cannot overcome His light.

My family moved away from the town where Margaret lived and we lost touch. Years later I saw a mutual friend and asked how Margaret was doing. My friend was delighted to tell me that, after 20 years of resisting the good news, Margaret's husband surrendered his life to the Lord and was empowered to stop drinking. God gave Margaret and her husband a couple years of faith together before he died. Through it all, dear Margaret helped countless people come to know their Savior. She is shining today in God's presence.

Who has particularly shone God’s light into your life? How has that person's light had a prolonged impact on your life?

You can view a scene of the resurrection of Jesus, from "Magdalena: Released from Shame," to share with your friends and family.

Elizabeth Schenkel has been actively involved in Christian ministry on three continents over the past 39 years. From 1974 to 1996, she worked alongside her husband, Erick Schenkel, to plant a thriving church and launch an innovative elementary and junior high school in Massachusetts. From 1996 to 2007 Elizabeth and Erick lived and worked in Central Asia.

In 2007, they moved to France and then to Turkey to serve in North Africa, the Middle East, and the Turkic and Persian world. In April of 2012 they moved to Orlando where Erick is serving as Executive Director of Jesus Film Project®. They have five children and two grandchildren. Elizabeth attended Duke University and is fluent in Russian, with a working knowledge of French. She works as a screen writer with Jesus Film Project.