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Thoughts from a fellow pilgrim...

Counting Blessings: Stars
When I consider thy heavens,
the work of thy fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which thou hast ordained;

What is man,
that thou art mindful of him?
and the son of man,
that thou visitest him?

For thou hast made him
a little lower than the angels,
and hast crowned him
with glory and honour.
~Psalm 8:3-5~

Today I am particularly thankful for stars. No, not movie stars -- I'm talking about the twinkling little lights which brighten up the dark night sky and which have been referred to by poets as "the eyes of God."

Every night after getting ready for bed, I walk to the front of our house and look outside for a bit. The view we have of the night sky is something you'd have to see to believe: windows two stories high, and the wide sky stretching above the rolling hills, free of anything to block the view or offer competing light. How I wish I could adequately capture it on camera and share it with you all.

The stars are bright
Late at night
Deep in the heart of Iowa.
Stars always make me think of Psalm 8:3-5 (above)...They make me realize how very, very small and insignificant I am in the grand scheme of things. My own struggles and trials shrink down to their rightful size, and I have to just marvel again at the love of such an infinitely huge and powerful God -- that HE takes note of ME and has a perfect plan for every single moment of my life. It is more than my mind can grasp; more than my poor faith can comprehend.

But sometimes the stars are not visible, either because the moon is outshines their brightness, or because clouds are hiding them from my view. Yet the stars are still there. This reminds me of God's constant faithfulness and love. Sometimes I cannot clearly see Him at work, and it seems that He has forgotten about me. But He is still there, the same yesterday, today and forever. What a comfort that knowledge is!

Like the rainbow, stars are a symbol of promise. They remind me of God's promise to Abraham, that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars. How many times Abraham must have looked out at the night sky and recalled God's promise, asking for strengthened faith to continue believing -- to keep the faith, beyond the bounds of human logic and into the atmosphere of miracles. On that memorable journey to offer Isaac back to the Lord, Abraham doubtless paced under the stars and found their continual sparkle rather mocking. How did God's command to sacrifice Isaac line up with the promise given so many years before? It was utterly confusing. Yet the stars kept shining and God's promise did not fail -- and after obeying in faith, Abraham could understand God's purposes.

Many years ago I read a little story that has continued to stick with me. It was about two men in prison, with only a small window far up in the cell wall. One man looked out the window and, discouraged, only saw the rusty prison bars. But the second man had the vision to see beyond the circumstances -- he saw stars. The stars gave him a fresh surge of hope and renewed his faith in a God whose power transcends all prisons and human limitations.

Just imagine a world without stars...I am so thankful for them. God is good. :-D
Stumbling through the night,
To my dim lattice, O calling Christ! I go,
And out into the dark look for thy star-crowned head.
~George MacDonald~
Joyfully HIS,

Written November 23, 2005.
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