My Mother-in-Law checked herself out of the hospital to attend our wedding. She would not have missed her baby girl’s big day for anything. She had to go right back in, of course. During the next year, we watched her lose her physical battle with cancer while victoriously entering eternal life with Jesus. We prayed, cried, laughed, hoped, and mourned with her in several hospital rooms. Even now, though it has been 18 years, our family still feels her loss.

During our time in the hospital with her, I heard so many doctors, nurses, technicians, and patients talk about the encouraging and uplifting spirit of my Mother-in-Law. Even when her body was filled with pain and was being destroyed by the cancer and the chemotherapy, she had a thankfulness to the staff and a love for whomever came near. Above all, she pointed to Jesus… until her last breath.

Paul told the Christ followers at Philippi, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.” (Philippians 2:14-16)

NO GRUMBLING?!?! Really Paul?! Haven’t you seen all the junk I deal with on a daily basis? So, I’m not even allowed to complain about it?

I view this word from Paul less as a command to be obeyed and more as encouragement to “Live like Christ.” If we want to do more than just get through this life, we have to do life differently.

The reality is that we all have junk to deal with. Becoming a Christ follower doesn’t make the junk go away, but it does give you a handle on how to deal with it. And it gives you a spiritual family to do life together.

So, here’s the deal, the whole world is broken and full of bad things and circumstances. The “normal” reaction for most people is to complain about it. This world doesn’t need any more normal people. This world needs to see people react to bad situations with the hope of Christ. It needs us to hold up the good, even if we can’t always provide a solution to the bad. It needs us to “SHINE” like bright stars! How about it… will you SHINE with me today?