During this month of November, I anticipate the launching of my book, Miriam Part 2 ~ Gifted Leader. This is number 4 in the Out of the Shadow series.
When I embarked on the journey with Miriam, I questioned whether I would find enough to write about to complete an e-book similar in length to Naomi and Eve, the first two books in the series.
To my amazement, one book became two. Miriam ~ Devoted Sister was published several months ago, and now at last Miriam - Gifted Leader is about to go live.
Is this right?
These books are written in narrative non-fiction, a genre that allows my creative juices to get involved with real live characters. When I first started the series, someone said to me, "I don't think you should add any details that are not in the Bible. It's not right!"
I replied, "Well, then I must just give people the Bible passage to read."
My goal for this series is to ease some of the women who live under the shadow of another person or situation, and introduce her to my readers. As we identify with those ladies of so long ago, the Bible becomes alive and we find they have much to teach us.A couple of weeks ago, I experienced a moment through the eyes of Miriam that spoke into my life. It was a particularly dark moonless night. The inky sky overhead was dotted with millions of tiny stars.
The night sky
I remembered a scene in my book where Miriam is lying on her back in the entrance to her tent, staring at the night sky overhead. The children of Israel were in the deserts of Egypt, making their way toward the Red Sea. There were no lights in the camp, save the flickering of flames dotted around the acres of ground taken up by tents without number belonging to the weary Israelites.
Men sat by the fires, keeping watch. There were no other lights. It was far darker than Miriam remembered when she was back home in Goshen. Stars twinkled in their millions overhead.
Promise to Abraham
Miriam thought back to the promise God gave to Abraham, that one day he would have as many descendants as there were stars in the sky.
"How could that be?" she wondered. "Is that how many we are?"
Fast forward several millennia. Move from a dark night in the Egyptian desert to a sunny African day near the coast. Not a cloud in the sky. A merciless sun beat down. Its rays threatened to scorch the blades of grass that struggled to survive the drought which starved the land of life-giving moisture.
I gazed into the sky and marveled. Where were the stars now? I knew there were still there. But even if I strained my eyes, I couldn't see one of them.
Miriam may well have thought they went to sleep during the day, but I knew better. Yet for all that, I couldn't see any evidence of stars that bright sunny day.
Two startling thoughts
That moment gave me two startling thoughts.
1) I knew they were there. I believed by faith they were there. My faith didn't need proof, because I knew they'd show up again when it became night.
How often, the Lord encourages us to walk in His light. In the light of knowing that He's there, even though we can't see Him. And the assurance that He will be there for me when my life gets dark, as it does periodically.
2) Sometimes, when life is good and no clouds of grief or illness hang over us, it is more difficult to "see the stars". Yet when life gets dark, we can see the glory of the heavens if we look for it. We realize that God's been there all along, waiting for us to look up and see Him in a way we don't see Him when things are going well.
A Word from the Psalms
Psalm 23 reminds us that "even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you are with me, Your rod and staff comfort me." We only find the rod and staff in the valley of death.
So when things get tough, my friend, when life seems to be so dark it can't get worse, look up. Look for the stars. Those tiny pinpricks of light that God sprinkles around us to reassure us. "Don't be afraid. I am here."
How about you?
What is the night sky like where you live? And where is that?
SHIRLEY CORDER lives on the coast of South Africa with her husband, Rob. She has recently embarked on a series of eBooks titled, Out of the Shadow.
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