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Shine Like Stars

Wikipedia provides a list of the brightest stars "determined by their average apparent magnitudes in the visible spectrum as seen from Earth."  This is not the same as the brightest stars observed with the naked eye.  THE brightest Star however, is the One who created and named every one of them!

The prophet Isaiah foretold it, 700 years before the birth of Christ…

"The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.  For those who live in a land of deep darkness a light will shine."  Isaiah 9:2

In 2 Corinthians 4:6, the Apostle Paul writes, "For God, who said, ‘Let there be light in the darkness', has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ."

All through the Scriptures (i.e. Luke 1:78, 2 Peter 1:19, Psalm 36:9, John 8:12, and Ephesians 5:8, 9) you will find many references to Jesus as the bright Light that shines in the darkness.

Life was "full of darkness" for a woman who joined my Bible study group several years ago.  It was just before Christmas and she was eight months pregnant with her second son when the father announced that he didn't love her and he was leaving.  Her world crumbled.  She spent a couple of weeks in hospital, physically and emotionally undone.  Two months later, exhausted from trying to keep it all together, the single mother gave all the broken pieces of her life to Jesus. 

His Light shone through her grateful testimony:

"This year is like candles being lit in the darkness—all sorts of little inspirations, and new relationships—it's so exciting.  I went from a year of nothingness to SO MUCHNESS I hardly know how to fit it in."

God has called us to be stars!  "…blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you SHINE LIKE STARS in the universe, as you hold out the word of life." Philippians 2:15, 16

Perhaps the darkest year this generation has faced was in 2001.  The 911 terrorist attack on American soil brought a seismic shift in the world order—bringing a new insecurity, fear and dread.

A bright light for Jesus shone in a young woman whose husband was a hero that fateful day.  Todd Beamer lost his life on Flight 93, but not before he and three other young men charged the cockpit, preventing the hijackers from striking their target. Todd's wife, Lisa, became a BEAMER for God's Kingdom and the Hope that sustained her. 

I lost count of the number of times she appeared as Larry King's guest on LARRY KING LIVE.  On October 11th, exactly one month after losing her husband, she beamed with the love and peace of Christ.  Larry looked at the lovely young widow and said, "Lisa, you look radiant."

"I'm grieving…" she said, "but I do have that bigger picture perspective that my faith in God gives me.  God knew Todd was getting on that plane.  He had a plan for Todd that resulted in good, and He has a plan for me that will result in good."

Little did I know then that the "good" God planned through the Beamers would reach all the way to my needy family.

On Friday, September 14th, 2001, my sister Kathy called.  She was like 1 in 4 Canadians, "stressed and overwhelmed following the terrorist attacks."  She talked for an hour about things over which she had no control…the White House administration…the terrorists…biological warfare.  I finally asked if I could pray for her—a simple prayer for God's peace.  Then the truth surfaced:

"Moi…I'm so depressed…only sleeping 2 hours a night."

So much pain in Kath's life made almost any calamity a trigger to despair.   I took a chance…

"Kath, did you see Lisa Beamer on TV?"


"How did Lisa look to you?"

"Amazingly calm and peaceful."

"That's the PEACE Jesus can give YOU!   He said, ‘I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart, and the peace that I give isn't fragile like the world gives, so don't be troubled or afraid.'"

My sister, who typically hung up if I mentioned God, began to pray!

"Dear Lord, please heal my heart … forgive all my sins…and give me peace.  Thank you Lord."

The tragedy of 911 opened a tiny crack in Kathy's fortress of pain and bitterness, and Lisa, out of her own pain and loss BEAMED a living hope into my sister's darkness.

Jesus said, "I am …the Bright Morning Star."  Revelation 22:16 (The Message)

Just as the morning star appears and shines brilliantly in the sky right before the dawn, Jesus can shine with hope in your heart in the darkness of discouragement and disappointment, failure and fear, indecision and grief.  The darkest time is just before the morning star appears in the sky and often the times of deepest darkness in my soul are just before Jesus breaks through with the light of His truth, comfort and provision.

Is anything hindering His light from shining through you?


Then let an old Newsboys song spur you on…

"Shine.  Make ‘em wonder what you've got!"

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Dear God, sometimes my "testing" season seems so long. Please give me courage to endure until the end. Help me not to bail! You said you would bless me for hanging in there - I will not give up on you or your promises. You are with me and will see me through this trial.