Stars

There was a meteor shower on Thursday night.  I stayed up later than the rest of the family in hopes to get a glimpse of the amazing night sky in motion.

I’ve always been attracted to the stars.  They twinkle as if winking in acknowledgment of me.  There are more than I will ever be able to count, up to 1 septillion stars and the Bible says that God knows them each by name.

As a child, I would wish on the “first star I see tonight” and every shooting star I would get a glimpse of.  But my wishes have always been more than just hopes.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve believed in a God who hears our every thought, so my wishes have always been more of prayers to someone who can actually make a difference.

For over a decade, whenever I would see a star, I would be reminded to pray for a friend of mine who was battling his own demons.  It seems that prayer has now been answered positively.  So my “wishes” are now always for my boys.

I know God hears my thoughts and prayers, but it seems I still look for visible signs that he hears me.   People can make their own signs, but we can’t make rocks fall through the sky, catching fire as they tip in and out of our atmosphere. So I look to the sky with my prayers, asking God for a sign that I am heard, that I am loved.

Thursday night, I walked out onto my back deck having a conversation with God.  God show me a shooting star.  Show me you love me.  Change my heart for my boys.  Help me to love them better.  Help me to be more patient.  Help them to grow strong in their love for you and others.

I caught a flash in my peripheral vision.  Was that it?  Was that a sign?  Was that a meteor?  Or did my eyes deceive me?  “Ok, God, I’m going to need another one to be sure that it was from you,” I told him.  I’m so thankful that God lets me demand things from him.  Who am I to ask anything of the God who controls the universe?!

I stared long and hard at the stars.  I looked to the brightest stars and tried to remember where the news said to look for the meteors.  The harder I looked for a sign, the more I saw a million “falling stars”.  Or more likely, my eyes just started playing tricks on me.

I started to get cold.  I gave God an ultimatum.  Okay God, three minutes.  You have three minutes then I’m going inside.  In those three minutes I saw a hundred faint lights arch through the sky, but none bright enough for me to know for sure that it wasn’t just my imagination.

I backed into the house, not taking my eyes off of the sky.  I closed the glass door and waited.  Okay, God last chance.  Reveal something to me.  Give me a sign that you’re out there.  That you care about me.  I leaned my head against the cold glass and my breath fogged up the window.

I started trying to explain God’s motives of making me wait on him.  It’s all an analogy for life isn’t it?  I can never really tell if God is speaking to me.  When I do get visible assurance that he’s asking me to move, I question it.  Was that really from Him or just my eyes playing tricks on me?

I sucked back in some of my warm breath.  The glass cleared just in time for me to see a meteor fall into our atmosphere, fall out, and back in again leaving two short trails of sparkling light behind it.

I smiled.  Thank you, God.

I walked back in through a pitch black house, but somehow, being in the dark, my eyes had adjusted and I could clearly see all around me.  Maybe hanging out with God for a while does help you to see things more clearly.

Look up into the heavens.
Who created all the stars?
He brings them out like an army, one after another,
calling each by its name.
Because of his great power and incomparable strength,
not a single one is missing.

Isaiah 40:26

In the days since the horrific Newtown shooting I’ve heard so many people question “Where was God in all of this?”  Extremists from one side say that this is proof there is no God, and if there is one, he is either not all powerful, or he is absolutely not the loving God people claim he is.  On the opposite side, I’ve heard people say, this is a consequence, in direct relation to us pushing God out of schools.  Because we banned prayer and the ten commandments out of schools, God let this evil enter in.

Both answers make me sick to my stomach.  I know there is a God.  The stars themselves proclaim that there is something bigger than us out there, bigger than human laws and buildings. I know that looking for a “sign from God” after watching the news and knowing that the Geminid Meteor Shower is coming won’t convince anyone as proof of his existence.  But I’ve tested him.  I’ve lived life with him. And moving through this life with God has made a world of a difference.

I also know that God allows us to make our own choices.  If he intervened in every horrible decision, we’d not have free will.  We’d not really have life.  But I don’t think that is to say that he doesn’t intervene in some bad decisions.  I feel he has intervened in my life on multiple occasions.

Just last year, I was driving one of my youth girls and her little sister to the Magic House to play with a bunch of kiddos with special needs.  We were driving on highway 40 at a pretty good speed.  As I approached the top of a hill, I saw a huge line of traffic at a complete stop on the other side.  So I slowed to a stop.  The semi-truck behind me couldn’t foresee the traffic on the other side of the hill and didn’t have enough time to stop before hitting me.  So by the time I realized what could have happened.  I looked to my right and saw a huge semi truck screeching to a complete stop on the shoulder right next to my car.  That would have crushed me and two young girls to death.  I say, God intervened in that case.

So who are we to try to understand when God intervenes and why sometimes he doesn’t?  Who are we to try to understand the motives of the One who held the oceans in his hand; the One who has measured off the heavens with his fingers?

How can you say that God does not see your troubles?  How can you say he ignores your rights?  Haven’t you heard?

God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.

Isaiah 40:28

And he loves us.  He loves you.  He loves those in such desperate heartache.  He loves those who are honestly questioning him and seeking after him.  He loves all.  He IS love.  He is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed (Psalm 34:18).  Try living life with him.  You won’t be disappointed.  Look at the stars.  If God cares enough to name a septillion balls of burning gas, you can believe that he cares about a person who was created in his own image.  May those stars remind you that there is a great and powerful God who loves you and wants to be close to you.