Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
– Psalm 119:105
I sleep with the curtains open, because, as a night owl, I am sensitive to light and so tend to wake up early enough in the morning to make me feel like I’ve done something worth while for the day. And I seem to have always been fortunate enough to have had rooms with windows that face somewhere in the direction of sunrise. I just love waking up to the rising sun; bright golden rays dazzling across my face as the light seeps in and unfolds across the room.
But perhaps there is more beauty in the way the stars peep in at night. I can’t see many stars from my bed; there are trees that block my view, but there is one particular star that shines brightly on a clear night. It’s funny how that star has shone on nights when I’ve perhaps most needed it. Because to me, that star isn’t just a bit of cold universe too far away for me to reach. To me, that star is God’s whisper, peeking right at in me through the dark. It’s a softly shining reassurance that when all else seems to be uncertain, when I can’t see the world around me or the path I’m walking on, God’s word and God Himself will always remain constant, forever loving, forever merciful, forever powerful, forever there.
It reminds me of when the Magi were led to Jesus by that single bright shining star. Although their purpose and beliefs are not very clear (see here), it seems that God’s mercy is highlighted in the fact that He invited Gentiles to be part of the great story of the saving of the world, and it indicates that His mercy is open to everyone who has a heart for Him (read the book of Jonah, or the book of Ruth – Ruth was a Moabite and thus not a Jew, but converted to the Jewish faith).
It reminds me that if we are willing, God can use us as vessels, and that He can change us into something beautiful if we let Him (Jeremiah 18:1-10; 2 Corinthians 4:7).
A few weeks ago at church, after our guest speaker had given an interesting message about what it really means to be a light in this world (Luke 11:33-36 – we often underestimate the importance of light at night because we are surrounded by street lights), my Dad added that when anchored (in safe harbour), boats are required to shine a light at the top of the mast that is visible far away. He said that this light doesn’t have to be big, because even a small light can shine far and guide others who may be in rougher waters. It struck me that I had always thought it important to make a big impact. But however tiny our flame is, we can still reach many, and most importantly, we are likely to reach those who are surrounded by thick darkness.
Light is a wonderful thing, but it becomes even more precious and beautiful when it is contrasted by darkness. That star is the hope by which we can live, following it’s rays step by step. And as the moon radiates the light from the sun, so those can be guided as we ourselves are guided.
When God decided it was time to save us, He didn’t just save us. He saved us in the most beautiful, mind-blowing way – He made us stars!
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.”
– Philippians 2:14-16