Look Past the Stars

I am always amazed at the many things I can observe when I take my dog out in the evening. You can glimpse to your left and right and be amazed at how different your neighborhood looks in the darkness. You can listen carefully and hear every form of wildlife which buzzes and chirps in the darkness. Most recently I’ve been gazing at the stars. I never saw many stars when I was a kid. Growing up in New York City, there was a star or two and the moon; the city doesn’t like to share her glory. But here in the country, God’s canvas bursts each and every evening, and I do my best to soak it in every occasion I get.

By utilizing my phone, I’ve learned that what I thought to be the brightest “star” is actually the planet Jupiter. Saturn likes to take a walk alongside of it. Each evening my routine with my dog has included a regular consideration of the majesty of the heavens. Why? Because it is possible to have one of the most indescribable gifts of beauty abound before you, and miss it because you were “too busy.”

Every day, you and I have an opportunity to look out in front of us and hone in on what stands before us. I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to focus in on the darker side of life. I am a recovering cynic, and too often enjoy camping in the pit of despair. What do I mean? Think about our present world. Which one of us haven’t felt the effects of COVID in our lives? From our grocery stores, to our schools, to everywhere in between – life is an entirely different beast than it was a year ago. Sometimes we have a tendency to walk out into the darkness and welcome it as it devours us whole.

Can God address our darker moments? Can He confront our deepest questions and insecurities? Is He able? That last word addresses ability. Does God bear the ability to help us when we feel lost amidst the swirling haze of life? What does He have to say for Himself?

The Psalmist writes “The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.” (Psalm 97:6 ESV) According to God, His glory is apparent to you today. You may not treasure Him though. You may not even acknowledge Him. Or you may even be running from Him with every act of desperation found in your heart. This is all because we have yet to see Him rightly. Sometimes we are too fixated on our feet, or what’s happening around it, to marvel at the God of all creation. We instead choose to marvel at all the creation of God.

The Apostle Paul tells us that humanity has “exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man.” (Rom. 1:23 ESV) We are enamored at the finite, and wonder why we are left hollow. When we lose sight of the triune God who has made us for Himself, we lose sight of everything. We are like compasses who’ve lost their needle; all the marks of direction present, but no way to ascertain it. We need to be reoriented. Better said, we need to look up.

In his essay “The Weight of Glory” C. S. Lewis, wrote, “When God is our Holy Father, sovereignty, holiness, omniscience, and immutability do not terrify us; they leave us full of awe and gratitude.” Why? We have Christ. Christ has us. Christ reconciles us to God. Christ reconciles us to creation, so that we no longer view it as an object to worship, but a platform to demonstrate our worship of God. When we view God rightly as our Holy Father through Christ we find each of His attributes to be a source of sweet comfort and profundity. We no longer look to glibly push Him aside. We find comfort in His majesty, in His unspeakable excellencies, and at the rays of light which His Word unfolds which blind us so that we might see. In short, we find life.

That is what the night sky is meant to elicit: Awe. Not in the glorious wonders of light which dance in the heavens according to the impersonal laws and principles, but by the personal hand of God. We are meant to be in awe of Him. What is taking your breath away? Is it worth it? Is it worthy?

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