Shining Like Stars

God did a beautiful thing for me today.

I was feeling down, shaken at the core of my being, who I am.  Let’s just say that some hurtful words in a letter, coming from someone I love, essentially accused me of being a bad mother and a bad person.  No matter how much my mind knows that’s not true, my heart was wounded, and I needed reassurance.  I was also tempted to answer the letter, but knew I probably shouldn’t.  Still, I asked God about it…

Anyway, Saturday night I was choosing clothes to wear to church.  I wanted to wear something pretty — I feel like God’s telling me He’s giving me beauty for ashes, and the truth is that He’s making me more beautiful during this trial, and I wanted to wear something to symbolize that.

My eye fell on a v-neck t-shirt with little stars embroidered across it, and I thought of the verse in Philippians 2, “… you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life…”  I thought I’d wear that shirt as a symbol of shining like a star through God’s light.  To go with the symbolism, I chose underwear with stars all over them, too!  🙂

As I put the clothes aside, I thought how neat it would be if God had that verse come up in the sermon in the morning.  I prayed and asked for it.  I knew that would be symbol from God that He is indeed making me shine like a star in the universe, by His grace. 

I had trouble getting to sleep that night, so I thought about the phrase, “you shine like stars in the universe…”

Well, the verse did not come up in the sermon.  It was a good sermon, about living your Christianity in your job.  I got to thinking, well, it was a silly little whim.  God certainly didn’t have to do that.  What are the chances that that particular verse would come up anyway?

Then they did the closing song:

We are the peple of God
The sons and daughters of love
Forgiven, restored and redeemed
Living our lives to the praise of our King
We are the ones who will shine
His light in the darkness of night
The hopeless, the broken, the poor
They will be hopeless and broken no more

You are the light
The light of the world
And we shine You, Lord
You are the light
The light of the world
And we shine You, Lord

Okay, that specific verse wasn’t there.  But I was getting the idea…

Then came the third verse:

We shine like stars in the universe
Proclaiming the hope of our God
And to the sons and daughters in all the earth
We shine You, Lord

Now there was no doubt — “shine like stars in the universe” is exactly quoting the verse.  By this time, my eyes were streaming with tears!

By doing that little thing for me, I felt that God was telling me He loves me.  He cares about the little things of my life.  He cares about my emotional pain.  And He is indeed making me shine like a star.

Wow!

Then came the punchline.  When I got home, I looked up the verse.  I had forgotten how the sentence begins, in the previous verse, Philippians 2:14 —

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become 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. . .

I had asked God if I should defend myself and answer the letter that hurt me?  Well, in His loving and wonderful way (with His sense of humor), He gently led me to the answer:  “Do everything without. . . arguing”!  And, in fact, my answer is my life, in which God is making me shine like a star.

Praise Him.

Here’s a link to a site that plays the song:  http://www.imeem.com/mattxiong/music/FB9viSRq/steve-fee-you-are-the-light/

7 Responses to “Shining Like Stars”

  1. Kristin says:

    Ouch, Sondy. That does sound painful. And your mind is right. You don’t deserve any of that. I’m glad you could be lifted up at church.

  2. Administrator says:

    What it feels like is that God Himself answered the accusations — so I’m feeling much better and more secure than before I heard them.

    At the same time, I’m learning that the steps I’m taking to reduce communication and contact are good steps!

  3. Lee Ann says:

    Sondy: That is a terrific story — so beautiful. I’m sorry about the hurt, but it’s so wonderful to see how God can show Himself through and in our pain. Your story really spoke to me. Thanks for sharing.

    have you considered writing a devotional book or submitting to Guideposts or another publication — your writing is fantastic!

  4. Administrator says:

    Thanks, Lee Ann! Thinking about it, actually… And of course my second children’s novel is currently being rewritten. It’s ended up taking on some themes about forgiveness… Of course, my own story will be all the more exciting (and all the more giving glory to God who does the impossible) after my marriage is restored!

  5. Kathleen Bagby says:

    I love it when God reaches down and let’s us know in no uncertain terms that He is intimately aware of us, and loves us completely….that we are, indeed, His children. He is an amazingly personal God.

  6. Administrator says:

    Kathleen, you’ve hit on much of why it touched me so deeply. It was so personal.

  7. Susan says:

    Thanks for posting these encouraging words, Sondy. God is so gracious to us; how amazing that He thinks of us when we are picking out clothes! I pray that God will continue to make you shine like the stars because we are in the midst of a generation that desperately needs our example of how to live that blameless life. I pray that even on days that you don’t feel so “shiny” that He will help you to be assured of who you are in Him.

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