“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” (Philippians 2:14-15)
For the longest time, I found it very hard to see myself as a star in the sky. I knew it in theory, but I couldn’t believe that I could really be a shining light.
My friends and I began an annual Bible reading plan this year, and we recently reached Matthew 1, the genealogy of Jesus Christ. In the long list of Jesus’ forefathers, many of us could only remember the key patriarchs: Abraham; Isaac; David.
I realised that the men and women in between whom we often forget, God remembered. He honoured them by recording the names of those who fulfilled His purposes.
Many of these people were broken and sinful people: Rahab was a prostitute; David was an adulterer and murderer … but even they could be used by God. They still became stars.
Like constellations in the night sky, some of us are called to play a role in the foreground – big stars. Some of us are called to play a role in the background – smaller stars. Even so, every star is as important as the other, and every star is called to shine.
We each have very different dreams and passions, and we all have our individual callings. But they all should collide in the house of God; all of us play a part in the bigger picture, in building God’s Kingdom on earth.
When I was young, I used to think that stars only exist at night – after all, I could only see them at night. The truth, as I have since learnt, is that they are always in the sky. They shine just as bright in the day as they do at night – but only in darkness do we appreciate them.
It deeply comforted me to know that my God is truly with me wherever I go, even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
That’s our calling. That’s what we are supposed to do: Shine light into the darkness.
To do so, we need to first appreciate the original source of light. That would be Jesus, according to Ephesians 5:8-9: “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.”
We were one full with darkness.
I experienced the darkest period of my Christian journey last year: I found myself in a pit of depression, not seeing a way out at all. At one point of time, I felt and believed that the darkness had consumed me.
But God spoke to me through Exodus 20:21. “So the people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.”
I realised that God is still there in the darkness. And that deeply comforted me — knowing that my God is truly with me wherever I go, even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
Will I, like Moses, draw near to Him regardless of the situation?
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14 & 16)
We are already standing on higher ground — on the hill that is our Lord. He is our firm foundation, and when we plant ourselves in God, we will light up the world.