“Believe”: Sometimes Found in Stars over the Porch

My close friend just found out her son was sexually assaulted. In the last 10 years, her son has been diagnosed with the following: intellectual disability; developmental disorders; severe Tourette’s syndrome; learning, behavior, and life skill disorders; and the accompanying challenges related to anxiety and emotions. Believing in God’s goodness was tough for her.

Adding sexual assault to his (and to her family’s) struggles has caused additional pain. Once again, my friend encounters the cavernous hollows of grief. Her skin hurts and her head throbs, her heart races and she feels splintered once again. Having been childhood friends, we have shared these sorrows together, mostly at night, counting the stars from her porch chairs. When she couldn’t believe, I prayed for her.

Back porches offer a sense of calmness. Surrounded by a soft breeze, there is silence and a few twinkling stars, calling to mind God’s sovereignty in all things.

Genesis 1 tells of creation by and through the hand of God—first the heavens and the earth, then the light (Genesis 1:1–5). In verse 14, God identified the purpose of the light. He ordered the lights in the expanse to separate day and night, to divide seasons, years, and days. Then, almost as an afterthought, we read, “He made the stars also. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness” (Genesis 1:16–18).

At times in life, we all stare into the expanse, perhaps filled with confusion, sometimes numb, but often wondering when a ray of light might peek its way through the ominously dark sky. The circumstances will be diverse; the need is always the same: waiting and longing for HOPE. Every soul who does not know Jesus Christ is shrouded in darkness. It reminds me of the statement describing C. S. Lewis’s Narnia during the evil reign of the White Witch: “always winter, but never Christmas.” Frozen and hopeless bondage is the life without Jesus Christ. If you do not know Jesus, please sit down tonight and ask Him to fill your soul with His warmth and light. “Jesus, I cannot go on anymore. I believe that you died on the cross and rose again. I ask You to come into my life and fill it with Your presence and light; my life is dark, and I’m lost. I invite you into my soul. You are my only hope.”

If you do know Jesus Christ, seasons of frozenness will still send shivers up your spine, often challenging everything you said you believed. But for Christians, life is “sometimes winter, but always Christmas.” If you are currently shivering in the circumstances of life, struggling to sense the light and warmth of the hope that is yours in Jesus, why don’t you take some time and ask Him to strengthen your faith in His presence, His sovereignty, and His goodness? Maybe tonight He will toss out a “star” just for you.

Posted in Encouragement & Healing, Sexual Abuse, Special Needs and tagged .

Colleen Swindoll Thompson holds a bachelor of arts degree in Communication from Trinity International University as well as minors in psychology and education. Colleen serves as the director of Reframing Ministries at Insight for Living Ministries. From the personal challenges of raising a child with disabilities (her son Jonathan), Colleen offers help, hope, and a good dose of humour through speaking, writing, and counselling those affected by disability. Colleen and her husband, Toban, have five children and reside in Frisco, Texas.