By Thom Mollohan
As winter quickly steals the stage and the black velvet of night rolls in early each February evening, one may look up and see the glittering hosts of celestial bodies sparkling overhead. 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. Although we may also know that such light and heat is the result of colossal explosions and fusions, and that each blazing furnace in the sky functions similarly to the others, still the glory of any one star that we behold is inconceivable, whether we spin about it in orbit or merely observe 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, neither in their actual mass, nor in the way they illuminate other unique objects.
“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).
Just as these cosmic lampposts are each fashioned by a 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 Psalm 147:4 says, “He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name,” we affirm that our lives are equally deliberate and that we have a legitimate place in His universe accompanied with a unique purpose.
“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).
The light of each of our lives is not hidden from His eternal eyes. We each matter a great deal in the grand scheme of His eternal plans! Though we may often feel lost in our responsibilities, our problems or our sins, we are not lost in the crowd of over six billion other people on this earth. We are known to Him by name.
Although Christmas is now a distant point in our rearview mirror, every night we take the time to look up to all the starry hosts that He has spread across His heavenly canvas, we remember that one single light that would transcend the luminance of all the others, heralding the arrival of the chosen One. This One among all the hosts of earth would transcend the luminance of all other earthly and spiritual beings!
“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 in 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 three men followed the light of that spectacular star from the lands of the East fulfilling their God-given destinies. If any would be wise today, they also turn to the eternal light of Jesus that shines in the darkness of our broken world, and by following it, fulfill the destiny that God has prepared for them.
Let us each then choose to receive the forgiveness of sins and eternal life through faith in Christ. Through Him we become as lights shining with a spark of hope, joy and love in the dark, winter sky of a world that is shrouded in selfishness! So as Philippians 2:14-16 says, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the Word of life” (ESV).
May we avoid the trap of becoming bitter and self-absorbed like a star that collapses in upon itself. Black holes shed no light or warmth but greedily suck in all life and heat, hording such good things inside themselves incapable of shining any longer. Souls that implode in this way, whether due to bitterness or selfishness, are useless in any spiritual sense as they offer nothing to those around them except an insatiable hunger for something they aren’t willing to receive: God’s unconditional love.
Let’s choose instead the destiny that God has chosen for us. As 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). If we’ll receive the freedom that Christ offers us through genuine faith in His work of atonement on the cross of Calvary, we will shine like stars indeed!
Thom Mollohan is a Christian inspirational speaker and writer, instructor of college readiness courses, and pastor of a great bunch of Believers. His favorite roles are that of husband and father. He is especially passionate for the igniting of passionate worship of a passionate God! Thom is also the author of The Fairy Tale Parables: Classis Fairy Tales Pointing to God’s Love and Truth and Crimson Harvest. He may be reached for comments or questions by email at email@example.com.