Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Moon Burn? Moon Stroke?

“The Lord watches over you – The Lord is your shade at your right hand, the sun will not harm you by day nor the moon by night.” Psalm 121:6
The phrase, “nor the moon by night”, caught my attention when I read this verse. I think of the moon as the gentle light in the dark night sky, not as something threatening or capable of harm. Theories abound concerning the moon’s effects on the earth and individuals. Some law enforcement and medical personnel swear that a full moon unleashes the lunatics. Tackling the science behind these theories is beyond my scope of expertise. I leave that to the more qualified. I see in this verse an analogy to the different phases or conditions of life. The good times (sun) and the bad or difficult times (moon). With God as our shade, we pass through both unharmed.
First, sometimes life appears to deal us a “bad hand.” Nick Vujicic was born without arms or legs. The normal pregnancy left his father Pastor Boris and mother Dushkia, a nurse, unprepared for seeing their child born limbless. How would their son overcome such severe disabilities? His parent’s desire to mainstream Nick’s education was initially denied but they prevailed. Nick endured not only bullying and harassment, but also loneliness and depression, even attempting suicide. In addition he grappled with the nagging questions, “Why me?” and “What is the purpose of this?”
Slowly, through his faith in God and with the help of family and friends, Nick turned his life around. As a young teen, Nick read an article about a disabled man who achieved success and went on to help others. Inspired by this man’s accomplishments, Nick decided to use his experience as a means to assist others.
At nineteen, Nick started fulfilling his dream of sharing his testimony and inspiring others through motivational speaking. “I found the purpose of my existence, and also the purpose of my circumstances. There is a purpose for when you’re in the fire.” Nick travels the world spreading the good news of the Gospel and his personal message of hope. He is an author, musician, actor and speaker who enjoys fishing, painting and swimming. He has already accomplished more than many able bodied individuals do in their entire life span. The early years of Nick’s life (moon) brought challenges, difficulties and hardships but not defeat. Now in the “sunshine” stage of life those lesson learned help Nick stay true to his faith and values as more doors of opportunity open to him.
Second, living in and outside of the limelight; the journey of the pursuit of a dream. I’ll touch on this briefly here; for a more in depth study refer to my previous post, “Obscurity, Breakfast of Champions.”  I believe God implants in each of us the desire to succeed and excel. Some are raised in supportive atmospheres, encouraged to reach for the stars. Others less fortunate are discouraged or even forbidden from stepping out and up and moving forward.
In either case, the path to success usually involves a protracted period of laboring in obscurity. Jesus and John the Baptist spent the better part of their lives unknown, all the while aware of their destinies. How they handled these “moon phases” prepared them for stepping into the spot light. Neither were moved off course or dissuaded by the pressure of popularity and what it could afford them. Their years in obscurity prepared them, developing into men who remained true to the mission through thick or thin.
            Finally, aging; something that strongly resonates with me. Personally, as I enter what some consider the latter years of life, I’m categorized by those younger than I as an “old person.” Western culture admires and applauds youth, viewing those in advancing years as out dated and passé.  The tendency is to either dismiss the aging population or outright ignore them, hoping they just go away. Ironically, old people don’t necessarily feel old or useless. They desire to take their knowledge and experience and contribute, but may find themselves rejected and unappreciated. Transitioning out of the “sunlight” of careers and productivity, they are shuffled to the sidelines. Without a plan for this phase of life, some find themselves adrift without purpose. Lacking an outlet for meaningful involvement, it is easy to fall into depression and feelings of despair. A time to pursue new options turns into a futile existence. Psalm 121:6 reminds us this need not be the case. No matter what stage of life we’re at, God watches over and protects us. As we trust Him we will thrive not just survive.
            When basking in the light of the sun or the moon, neither will harm us (thank God, I burn easily). With God’s help, protection and direction each phase provides the tools and resources necessary to successfully navigate whatever we encounter, wherever we are. For me, I remind myself that if people perceive me as being in the “moon phase” of life that is their opinion not mine. Personally, these “golden years” present a great opportunity to find new outlets of productivity, avoid moon burn and moon stroke and work on my moon tan.

For more information about Nick Vujicic check his website

For Obscurity, Breakfast of Champions go to


  1. Praise God... All I can say this is a wonderful message which removed both my surprise as well as fear cause I heard for the first time about the moon stroke.. Even though reading Psalm 121 many times