"When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him?" –Ps. 8:3-4
I saw more stars than I ever had on a late November night in remote Williams, Arizona.
My brothers and I had slipped outside and shivered under a brilliant night sky glowing in 30 degree air. Gripping mugs of hot chocolate, we traced our initials in the frost on the car and exhaled foggy clouds of breath. We talked, laughed, pointed at the sky.
They soon returned inside to our host's home––a solitary glow of warmth in a high desert landscape of near desolation. The conversations drifting from inside resonated with the sweet melodies of Christian fellowship.
I stayed and sat under celestial resplendence, vulnerable and coram Deo––before the face of God. I found the constellation Orion and smiled at its familiar form, one I knew from even the minimal scattering of stars in San Diego suburbia. The longer I spent in the darkness of that night, the more stars came to light. The vast sky was a bright reminder of the glory of His limitlessness. I stared at the stars and pondered.
Here, although I was several hundred miles away from home, I couldn't escape my fears, doubts, heart wounds. These, my Achilles' heel, lingered like a malignant shadow.
While sitting under this breathtaking view, I wrote this prayer––one I continue to echo for 2017.
God, You are altogether worthy of my trust and my praise. Help me to see my own wretchedness––the ways I seek to dethrone You. You are the Lord of the galaxies and here tonight, witnessing the awe-striking splendor of those galaxies, I bow. I confess. I seek Your face, Lord, rather than demanding Your hand. You are righteous and just in all Your judgements. You do all things well for Your glory and through Your grace. I must cling to truth. I am my own worst enemy. Pride claws at my best motives and I scream in my heart toward image-bearers of you. How can I?
The Lord of the universe––asteroids, black holes, fiery Jupiter, distant Neptune and Andromeda––condescended to minuscule, insignificant Earth. Oh, but Earth is magnificently significant in your gloriously perfect plan of redemption. Fallen man reconciled to his Creator, to live in loving communion with and worship to Him for the rest of his days––and all eternity. Stars sing His praises. And one day, in ultimate perfection with all of God's redeemed, so shall we.
Now Lord, quicken my soul to do Your will.
Stars give me perspective, reminding me of my littleness and God's great magnitude. He is both transcendent and immanent––a mystery more lofty than the knowledge of the universe itself.
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; He gives to all of them their names." –Ps. 147:3-4
How can the One who gives the stars their seemingly immeasurable number be the same Great Healer of wounded human hearts?
Pause and consider the stars. They are but a glimpse into the incomprehensibility of our God's grandeur.
"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen" (Rom. 11:36).