When We Shine

by | Oct 14, 2015 | 31 Letters from London

This is day 15 in a new series: 31 Letters from London. In October, I’m doing something a little different and writing to you about the realities of life as an expat; finding the nearness of God through random experiences with new culture. It’s important to begin here and find the collection of letters here. We’re breaking for Sabbath every Sunday.

As I focus on writing chapters of my book in the Cotswolds this week, I’m sharing Daily Thoughts originally broadcast on Premier Christian Radio. You can listen to it here. Slide cursor to minute 30:48 to hear me.


May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah.

This passage in Psalm 67 is a common liturgy used for Sunday worship in the church I attend but what does His face to shine upon us really mean anyway? The Selah is a clue that I need to stop and think about it.

A few weeks ago, two young friends told me about their last minute decision to go to Wimbledon on a day off work. And shortly after they arrived at the venue, two seats in the front row miraculously became available at a reduced rate.

God’s face was shining upon them.

I once asked a group of women to pray for our family when an unexpected car problem caused stress on our bank account. Less than twenty four hours later an anonymous envelope of money appeared through our mail slot; the exact amount we needed.

God’s face was shining upon us.

A timely encouragement from an acquaintance slipped into your inbox. A pay raise you didn’t expect when your spouse was made redundant. A gift you wanted but never verbalized to anyone. Leftovers from a conference that extend a tight food budget for the week. A chance meeting with a friend you  were just thinking about.

These are all ways God’s face shines upon us.

Some people might call these chance encounters coincidences but for those of us who know friendship with Jesus, Paul’s words echo from 2 Corinthians.

It started when God said, “Light up the darkness! And our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful. If you only look at us, you may well miss the brightness.”

Don’t allow circumstances to snuff out the brightness of God’s face shining upon you today. Pause and think of the ways in which the face of Jesus illuminates His nearness with you right now, in this moment.

Your coincidence may actually be a God-incidence.


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  1. Celeste

    Timely. This afternoon a verse if scripture came to mind in the midst of anxious thoughts.
    Trust in the Lord, with all your heart, do not lean on your understanding, He shall direct your paths.
    We had city surveyors at our home all day today.
    The rental we moved into this past May…well the landlord was less than honest with us as he plans to tear down our home.
    Trust. Lean and direction.
    When we first suspected this I was once again mulling over things in my mind. What came to me at the moment seemed out of the blue.
    Remember the time when the Israelites were finally leaving Egypt and God caused the Egyptian families to give up their gold to Israel for the journey ahead.It was if he spoke,
    I know what’s ahead, God seemed to be saying to me. He gives what we need at the right time.
    These days when emotions are high, I cling to that.

    • Shelly Miller

      Oh Celeste, I’m sorry I’m so late in responding to you but I remember the conversation we had about moving and I’m grieving with you about this news. Praying for you! Keep me updated. One thing I know for sure, God is for us so who can be against us!! xx

  2. Pam

    Beautiful, Shelly. I LOVE God-incidences. I think He is making me a messenger of one to some dear friends who come up on the death of husband and dad (too early at 62) last Oct 15. Couldn’t get the idea of going to Home Goods to look for something small to give them tomorrow, to let them know he is thinking of them most of all. Found the most perfect thing I never could have imagined, something that speaks so into beauty for ashes in their particular situation. And I’m thinking – He put that on my mind to show them how intricately they are in his thoughts… It is exciting to see Him leading us in moments like these as well as being on the receiving end, isn’t it? 🙂 Pam, apples of gold

    • Shelly Miller

      I love your generous heart Pam! Thanks for sharing such a sweet moment. I’m sure your thoughtfulness was a blessing to them.

  3. Devi Duerrmeier

    This is easily one of my favourite parts of belonging to God, the way everything I can see points back in some way to him and his hand. Today it’s the multiple people interested in buying our car (we have to sell it in six days, YIKES) after days of nothing. It reminded me that God cares about all the little details and he cares about our move.

    • Shelly Miller

      We had that happen too Devi. We needed to drive our van up until the last minute we moved to London and out of the blue, a friend in another state flew in and bought it! And the fact that it was a friend was also such a sweet thing as that car held so many family memories I was grieving the loss of it. Knowing someone with kids was going to be driving it around made it easier to give up. He is definitely in the details.

  4. Celeste

    I wanted to write again following an event.
    On the 25 of October our son is getting baptised. Yesterday I received an email saying group pictures for his soccer team was on, Sunday. Recalling your words, I prayed. Last evening at practice I said to the two coaches, hey guys, Bek cannot make the photo as he is getting baptised that same Sunday.
    This morning in my email is a message from the wife of the one coach telling me that as they can pick the time of the event, they will make it later for us.
    I praise God.

    • Shelly Miller

      Our lives speak. You just illustrated that here Celeste!

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