by Ami Hendrickson
Those who are wise shall shine as the brightness of the expanse; and those who turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.
How many stars can you see in the night sky?
Not all stars shine with the same magnitude. The brighter the star, the lower the magnitude. (The planet Jupiter has a magnitude of -2.5. Polaris, the “North Star,” is 1.97).
In 1982, astronomer Dorrit Hofleit developed a Bright Star Catalog of every star greater than magnitude 6.5 – the brightness visible to the naked human eye. Today, the Catalog contains a list of the 9110 bright objects. (Fourteen of those objects are either novae or extragalactic objects and are technically not “stars.”)
Because the stars visible to a person in the Northern Hemisphere are hidden from anyone in the Southern Hemisphere, and vice versa, this means that on any given night, the most stars a person can see is half of 9110, or just over 4500.
Since it takes time for light to travel the vast distances of space, the light we see from any given star has shined for years before it reached our eyes.
“Those who turn many to righteousness [shall shine] like the stars forever,” says Daniel. Our impact may not be instantly seen. It may take years of quiet witnessing for our light to change the lives of others.
But we have this great promise: that God sees us as bright lights in His plan.
You Who created the heavens,
Who personally knows every star by name,
Please bless me so that I may ever burn brightly for You.
In Jesus’ Name, I pray, Amen.