I have a hard time relating to some of the people in the Bible, but one really resonates with me because of my childhood. On Mothers’ Day, I mentioned that I spent a great deal of time on my grandparents’ farm. That 400+ acres was 9 miles from the nearest town, 3 miles from a very small rural community with one flashing light! The nearest security light was over a mile away. So, on clear, cold nights, the absence of light pollution gave me a window into the fullest starfield of my life.
I would lie down in the bed of the pickup and gaze up at the trail of the Milky Way as it stretched across the sky. I remember one night when I was a high school student and I decided to try to count the stars. Regardless of how hard I tried, I realized quickly that my attempt was futile. I had enough knowledge from science classes that I knew that every thing I was trying to count was many lightyears away from me. At one point I felt as if I was falling toward the DEPTH of the space my eye and mind could only attempt to comprehend.
I had discovered devotional reading by that point and was very aware of the Psalms. And on that night, I identified with a shepherd king named David, who had spent many nights out on the hillside, gazing up at a sky very much like the one that overwhelmed me. And he asked God a question that haunted me that night: “What is man that you are mindful of him?” In all that expanse of trillions of miles, a universe that stretch out into infinitude, all made by God, how in the world did he think of me or care about me?
The Gospel became firm in my teenaged heart. I felt so small, yet God seemed so big to me on that night. Even now, when I can escape the lights of the city and get lost in the dark woods at night, I gaze up at the expanse of stars and I’m reminded that I am a small man in the presence of a big God.
But rather than being frightened, I’m comforted. In all that expanse, He sent Jesus to rescue us–US, who are so small in His grand universe. Like David, when I consider it, I am awed and thankful.
Ready to do some stargazing, to get lost in the stars with the one who created them?