Like dying stars, our lives are more glorious when sin shatters

Written by J.M. Bergman

An exploding star is arguably one of the most brilliant sights in all creation.

When the star runs out of nuclear fuel, its core becomes so heavy it collapses and explodes. In brilliant waves and spirals of light and colour, the outer sheath of gas and material gets flung from the star—painting an explosive sight of breathtaking artistic power.

In its breaking, it becomes even more glorious.

COVID-19 sucked fuel from our collective and individual cores throughout 2020. It broke our stability, relationships, and success. So, now that we’re in 2021, imagine each person’s life as a supernova—that’s over six billion explosions!

As people invited to cooperate with God’s kingdom on earth, our response should be focused on bringing glory to Him, even through our reactions to this pain.

John 12:24-25 says, “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

Earthly brokenness insists we can’t be happy unless things go back to the way they were. This reveals that our worth may have been built on sandcastles all along rather than solid rock.

Building broken success stories in a broken world has always been an unreliable equation—we know this at our core. But now that our cores have collapsed, many of us don’t know where to turn.

Perhaps it takes the breaking of our temporary worlds for us to remember we were made for a different form of honour. One that grows from a base of compassion, humility, and gentleness. Maybe that opens up more of the space God deserves to establish His influence and let His kingdom come.

What COVID-19 broke for me were my expectations for this life. One day, everything that had once made sense seemed senseless. Why did I get a college degree or work so hard for my job position if I would end up staying home in isolation? Why did I push myself so hard on the job to make my employers happy when now they probably wouldn’t even remember my name?

What I mean is: I started realizing the essentials of a healthy life.

Employment and status are important, but they don’t compare to the value of nurturing our hearts and finding our identity wrapped in Christ’s love. His love tells me I have value outside of my actions.

His example on earth echoes God’s promises that my life has meaning simply in existing and following His prompts to love hurting people. I am not invisible just because I’m stuck at home! The light within me shines brighter than all the stars in the sky.

I am willing for His story to unfold from inside my mortal frame. This is our eternal, unbreakable core. And once our core becomes secure, think of how gloriously we’ll shine!

Brokenness defined by worldly standards says: You failed. It’s over. You’ll never recover.

Grace meets our brokenness and says: I know this is hard. I love you. I’m with you. Let’s try again.

Like the father of the prodigal son, He takes us back. His patience and goodness add kindness and understanding to relationships and circumstances that don’t make sense anymore.

In Matthew 5, Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world.” Let’s spread light and flavour in our communities, and let our actions declare:

We are sons and daughters of the Most High God.
We are defined by love and peace.
We can meet your brokenness with compassion.

The world is searching and we are living lights that help illuminate the way towards the kingdom. Our breaking will hurt, but may it also be glorious.