As winter quickly steals the stage, and the black velvet of night rolls in earlier and earlier each December evening, one may look up and see the glittering hosts of celestial bodies sparkling down upon his or her head. As what appear to be tiny pin-points of flame twinkle down from the vault of heaven arching across the endless sky, we know indeed that each is actually a blazing ball of flame and fire.
And though we may also know that such light and heat is the result of colossal explosions and fusions and that one blazing furnace in the sky functions similarly to each of the others, still the glory of any one star that we behold is inconceivable whether we spin about it in orbit or are merely observing its light from millions of light-years away. Each star is uniquely created with unique position and unique purpose in the sky through which it sails in apparent perpetual journey. No two stars are identical whether we’re discussing the actual mass and breadth of said stars or we’re considering those objects upon which their light and warmth shine.
“And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.’ And it was so. And God made the two great lights – the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night – and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:14-18 ESV).
And just as these cosmic lampposts are each fashioned by the Divine Hand and appointed their own stellar duties, so each man and woman, boy and girl is uniquely created and positioned in this more temporal existence by that same Hand. And since we know that “determines the number of the stars; He gives to all of them their names” (Psalm 147:4 ESV), we can also know that our lives are not accidental and that our place and purpose in this world are not incidental.
“When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet” (Psalm 8:3-6 ESV).
How wonderful to know that the light of each of our lives is not hidden from His eternal eyes! How amazing to know that we each count and matter in the grand scheme of His eternal plans! Though we may often feel lost in our responsibilities, our problems, our sins, or even the countless needs of over six billion other people, we are each known by name by the One Who spread the boundless canopy of heaven across the universe!
And how like Him, too, to appoint among all the starry host one single light that would transcend the luminance of all the others, to herald the arrival of One Who, among all the hosts of earth, would transcend the luminance of all other earthly and spiritual beings!
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He Who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him” (Matthew 2:1-2 ESV).
Greeting the tiny Messiah on the behalf of humanity with gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh, these “Wise Men” followed the light of that very special star from the lands of the East and fulfilled their God-given destinies. Likewise, if any would be wise today, they still turn to the Eternal Light of Jesus that shines in the darkness of our broken world, and follow it, fulfilling the destiny that God has reserved for them.
Let us each then choose to receive the gift of forgiveness of sin and eternal life through faith in Christ. Through Him we become as lights in the dark and wintry sky of a world that is shrouded in sin and selfishness, shining with the sparkling glimmer of hope, joy, and love! And let us also “do all things without grumbling or questioning, that (we) may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom (we) shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life” (Philippians 2:14-16a ESV).
Let us avoid the trap of becoming bitter and self-absorbed, like star that collapse in upon themselves. Black Holes shed no light or warmth but greedily suck in all life and heat, hording such good things inside themselves and becoming incapable of shining any of the light they have devoured. Souls that implode in this way, whether due to bitterness or selfishness, are useless in any spiritual sense and offer nothing to those around them except an insatiable hunger that constantly gnaws at them.
Let us choose instead the destiny that God Himself has chosen for us. If we’ll receive the freedom that Christ offers us through genuine faith in His work of atonement on the Cross of Calvary, we shine like stars indeed.
Jesus said, “You are the light of the world…. Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father Who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14, 16 ESV).
Copyright © Thom Mollohan