So You Want To Be A Star?

It is so easy for me to get discouraged when things aren't going well.  Sometimes I begin to wonder if anything will ever be ok again.  The past few weeks have been a pile of setbacks and problems.  I realize I am slipping into complaining ... and arguing with God about the things He is allowing in our lives right now.  Every day one of my prayers is that the day's events draw me closer to God.  I'm seeing that happen.  The best way to describe this all is a devotional I wrote two years ago.  (Slow learner, here.) As silly as it might sound, sometimes reading through my own devotionals helps me.  Every once in a while I find one that speaks to me as if I have never read it - much less written it.  It so applies today.

“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” (Philippians 2:14-15 NIV)

When I was a little girl, I used to love to sit outside on the gentle slope by our house and look at the stars.  They fascinated me.  Much like the children’s nursery rhyme – how I wondered what they were. 

My first thoughts about stars were that they were pinholes of light shining through the dark as if someone had punched holes in paper and held a brilliant light behind it.  As I grew older, I realized that this was not true at all and laughed at my fanciful imagination.

How surprised I was to find this verse in Scripture.  We are to shine like stars in the universe – compared to the ways of the world.

Now, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like anything BUT a shining star – or even a tarnished one.  What an interesting thought this is – for I realized that not even my challenges or illnesses can truly stop this from happening – unless I let it.

Do I feel I have a lot to complain about? You betcha.

Do I feel irritated and argumentative at times?  Reluctantly I must say yes to that as well.

But to think that by not complaining, and not arguing, God sees me as blameless and pure …  like a star in the universe.

Now, I’ll tell you a secret.  I always wanted to be a star.  No – not one in the heavenlies, but a star in life.  I wanted to be known for my writing, or my singing, or my artwork.  I wanted not my 15 minutes of fame – but a lifetime of it.  I wanted to be a performer.  A real star.

I had to let go of that dream.  Sometimes I have to let go of it again and again.

And yet – here is my dream in a brand new form!  God is telling me, “deni – you can be a star for me.  You will shine as brilliantly as the ones in the heavens.”

Isn’t that reason enough to begin to learn not to complain?  To begin to learn that arguing will not bring God any glory – that I won’t stand out in contrast to the rest of the world?

For me, the answer is yes.

Now, I know it’s not going to be easy.

But you know what?  As one of God’s stars to another … we can do it!

So – to reword that old nursery rhyme.

“Twinkle, twinkle, little star

 Now I know just whose you are.”

God’s.

Let it shine, beloved ones … let it shine!

Father God, Thank you that, on days like today, you find ways to encourage us - even if that encouragement is found in words meant to encourage others!  Amen and amen.

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