How Stars Are Born

“Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.”

Daniel 12:3

Are you aware that not all stars are the same? Some shine brighter than others and to prove it all one needs to do is venture outside and look up into the heavens. Because I was up long before the dawn today I had a chance to step outside and look up to the sky and see the few remaining bright stars that were still visible while others had already faded out of sight. On April 12 more than any other day of the year I think about stars and how they are born and what happens when they die for the simple fact that two events occurred on this day that have shaped my life, the way I think, the way I feel and how I see the world.

April 12 is the physical birthday of one Danielle Marie Gould, the youngest daughter of our friends, Tink and Sherrill. Danielle was our daughters best friend for many years and who my wife and I loved as if she were our fourth child. Bree and Danielle were sisters from other mothers you could say. My wife and I love Danielle like she was our own child. After all, she spent enough time at our house I am pretty sure that if possession is 9/10 of the law I could have had made a good case for guardianship she was at our house so much. The same could be said of the Gould’s house too. The girls were either at our home or at Tink and Sherrill’s. As a matter of fact, on the night she stepped from this life into eternity, she had just left our house and was heading for home.

April 12 is also the day my dad met Jesus face to face. On the day my dad was taken by ambulance to the hospital his life was spent much like Danielle who lived her last day on earth to the fullest taking part in a early morning bible study then going to lunch with a girlfriend with whom she was sharing Jesus, purchasing a bible with her own money which included having her friends name embossed on the front. Danielle and Bree spent the afternoon goofing off together taking what would prove to be priceless pictures before heading to a church “poolside bible study” and then back to our house to hang out since Bree was preparing to go to Bible College in a few days and they were trying to get in as much time together as they could.  

My dad’s last day started with a Men’s Bible Study at church where he enjoyed gathering each week with the men of our church. If ever there was a man’s man, it was my dad. After the Bible study he went to lunch with his best friend who was to my dad like Danielle was to Bree. Bruce and my dad actually lived together for a number of years growing up. Bruce came from a large family and my dad was an only child. They grew to be more like brothers than just friends. A friendship they maintained until the day my dad died. After lunch with his “little buddy” as Bruce was affectionately known, my dad spent the afternoon most likely asleep in his favorite chair while simultaneously watching television. That evening he and my mom enjoyed salmon for dinner. My dad loved salmon and after supper he took his plate to the kitchen and washed it off and then collapsed. The parallels of my dads last day and Danielle’s are amazingly similar, but that’s what you would come to expect from a life that is lived like a star, shinning brightly for the glory of God.

I remember reading the prophet Daniel’s words in chapter 12 not long after Danielle “left” August 20, 2004 to be with Jesus as her dad would say, and I cried. Immediately I made the connection between her beautiful life lived for Jesus and the comfort I knew God’s Word would bring to Danielle’s mom and family for the simple reason that when someone you love becomes a memory that memory becomes a priceless treasure. For the Gould and Osthimer families and friends who knew and loved them both April 12 will always be a special day. They both were shining stars in their own right.

Daniel 12:3 says, “Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.” When I think of my Dad and Danielle shinning like stars I am reminded that unlike diamonds that reflect light, stars radiate light from within. Stars are born when atoms of light elements are squeezed under pressure resulting in their nuclei to undergo fusion. All stars are the result of a balance of forces: the force of gravity compresses atoms in interstellar gas until the fusion reactions begin. When Jesus enters our heart He begins to illuminate us from within.  

How a star dies is interesting in that a star dies when they exhaust their nuclear fuel. Really massive stars use up their hydrogen fuel quickly, but are hot enough to fuse heavier elements such as helium and carbon. Once there is no fuel left, the star collapses and the outer layers explode as a 'supernova'. A ‘supernova’ is the biggest explosion that humans have ever seen. Each blast is the extremely bright, super-powerful explosion of a star. So to put it simply, stars go out in a beautiful blaze of glory! That’s how both Danielle and my dad’s earthly lives are remembered because of their mutual love for God. And like a brilliant shooting star streaking across the sky leaves us standing in awe, every April 12 I find myself in awe of the beauty that Danielle and my dad brought into our world.

“in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

1 Corinthians 15:52 (NKJV)  


Michael Osthimer





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