Before you read this story, one that brings me tears even now, stop by Under the Cover of Prayer to read about another time when God showed me His tremendous love for His children. There is nothing He won’t do to show His love and to draw His children to Him.
The following is based on a true story, shared with me by a dear friend fighting brain cancer. (The actual account is provided at the end of the story, but I wanted to put it in story form so you could perhaps understand what a beautiful experience this was for her.)
Although I pray for miraculous healing, my greatest prayer is that this radiant daughter of Christ would know, moment-by-moment, God’s incomprehensible love for her. When she told me how God is demonstrating His love to her night after night, I was reminded of God’s tender mercies. There’s a song I love, it says, “With the strength of no other, and the heart of a Father.” Think about that phrase for a moment–God is all-powerful. He created every star in the heavens and each star blazes with an enourmous amount of energy. The source of all things is always greater than that which it created. But behind that power, or more accurately, coupled with it, is a heart that bleeds for His creation. That sees us when we are at our weakest moments and goes to the ends of the earth to show us we are not alone. He Himself has promised, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
When God Lights Up the Sky
Terry pushed up from the dinner table, staggering as the plates blurred before her. She gripped the back of her chair until the dizziness subsided.
“Momma, are you okay?” Tiffany, her oldest, froze, tears brimming in her eyes.
Swallowing down a wave of nasuea that threatened to expel her recently eaten dinner, Terry forced a smile and pulled her daughter close. “I’m great, sweetie. Now, where’s that picture you wanted to show me? The one you drew in art class?”
Tiffany studied her mother for a moment longer before turning on her heels and dashing up the stairs. Terry glanced at the clock on the far wall. 7:15. She kneaded her temples as if doing so would fight off the fatigue. One more hour to connect with her children, to instill memories, to show them the depths of her love. Then she could collapse for eight hours, maybe nine, before doing it all again.
Lord, give me energy to be here for my kids–really here. Clear the fussiness in my head. Please. And give me one more day.
“Zzzzrrrrrreeeea!” Her youngest child, Dennis, a chubby-faced boy with sky blue eyes and dimples on both cheeks, swirled an airplane in the sky. “Wanna pway with me, Momma?” He held a Match Box car in his other hand. “You can be the cops and I’ll be the cimimals.”
Terry glanced into the living room where Legos scattered the floor and a handful of other vehicles lined the couch. Maybe sitting would ease her nausea and clear her head. The least she could do was give him ten minutes.
Less than a year ago she would’ve whisked her son in the air like an airplane, filling the house with his high-pitched giggles. Now it took all her energy to make it through the day. And yet, no matter how difficult, each day was precious. Priceless. Cherished.
She turned back to her son. “I’d love to.”
The phone rang. She cringed and her husband bolted to his feet. A moment later, he called out to her. “It’s Linda from church.”
The fifth call in the last hour.
“She wants to know if she can stop by later.”
“Zoooooomzzzzeeeeeerrrrr!” Her son crashed his plane into a wall of Legos. “Momma, you gotta awwest me. I bwoke the waw. I had an akkident.”
“Hold on, sweetie.” She ruffled his hair then called out to her husband. “Can you ask her if I can take a rain check?” Grabbing a police car with chipped paint, she wove it through the “streets” of carpet town, toward her son’s plane.
“Not like that! You need to make the siwen noises.”
A wave of nausea swept over her and she leaned against the couch, double images flashing before her. Her brain pulsated, swollen from radiation-saturation, and for a moment, she feared she’d pass out.
“Honey? Honey? Are you okay?” A hand touched her shoulder and an image of her husband blurred before her.
The room went silent and her son dropped his plane. “Momma no feel well?”
She pinched the bridge of her nose and squeezed her eyes shut. Lord, please give me Your strength made perfect in weakness. For my children and husband’s sake.
“How about I put in a movie?” Her husband poked their son in the ribs until he rolled on the floor with laughter, then he cupped his wife’s chin and lifted her face until their gaze met. “Love you.” He kissed her cheek, then her mouth.
Terry lingered in the door of her children’s bedroom, listening to the steady rhythm of their breathing. If only she could capture this moment. Her husband draped his arm over her shoulder and pulled her close, resting his chin on top of her head.
She closed her eyes and inhaled his citrus cologne, laying her cheek against his chest. The steady pounding of his heart soothed her and for a moment, peace washed over her.
But then the phone rang again. She sighed; her shoulders caving forward. Her husband tensed.
“I’ll get it. You go relax.”
She nodded and shuffled down the stairs, outside, and to the porch swing. A cool breeze swept over her, carrying with it the faint scent of freshly cut grass. A crescent moon blazed in a clear night sky, thousands of stars twinkling all around her. She searched the constellations, naming each one in turn. For years, she’d wanted to see a falling star. As a kid, she’d spent hours searching the night sky. She’s seen many things–air planes glistening in the night, Venus blazing bright. But not once a shooting star. But one day she’d be with the bright and morning star. Even as He stayed with her now.
She leaned her head back and inhaled the cool night air, a deep warmth filling her heart, as she turned to God in prayer.
A flash of light caught her attention and she sat aright. In that moment, her vision cleared and above her, a star fell like a miniature Fourth of July firecracker.
“Oh, Father! Oh, Holy Father.”
Tears flooded her cheeks and laughter bubbled in her chest as another star followed.
About two months ago, my friend started to sit on her back porch talking to God. Something about looking up at the sky, under the stars, brought her peace. One night as she poured out her heart to Him, she saw a shooting star. She was so excited but didn’t connect it to God- not that time. Since that night, she has seen at least 6 – 10 shooting stars, always when she’s talking to Him. Just typing this story to me overwhelmed her with emotion.
Her words: It’s a simple thing, but for me it reminds me of His love and how He delights in showing it- to ME. Just for me. Just because He wants me to know He’s with me and hears me.
When she told me the story, I, too, was overwhelmed with emotion. A song called Light up the Sky by the Afters is one of my favorites. I listen to it often and love the chorus, “Light, light, light up the sky to show me You are with me.” I never understood why I loved that phrase so much until my friend shared her story. I believe God drew me to that song so I would understand what He’d done for my dear friend, because the song rushed to my mind the minute she told me.
With the strength like no other and the heart of a Father, He lights up the sky to show us He is with us.
Pause and listen to this song and rest in the presence of your loving Father. (And to my dear, radiant, beautiful friend–you are dearly loved! And you shine brighter than those stars God uses to show you His love.)