It is interesting driving to work in the dark each morning. This past week the sky was so clear that the stars were bright against the night sky. They stood proud, like guardians of the sky. Shining their presence and twinkling their position.
And they took my breath away. Knowing God had formed each one, placed each one, and maintains each one. That He allows them to shine as a reminder of Him.
And I wanted to stop and stare, to gaze and be amazed. (But I didn’t, since I was driving.)
So instead I let my thoughts drift, and I quickly found myself thinking of Abram.
A 75 year old man (Genesis 12:4) called by God away from everything he knew (“Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house” – Genesis 12:1) into the unknown with only a promise as security (“I will bless you” – Genesis 12:2). No certain destination (“To a land that I will show you” – Genesis 12:1). No family except “Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son” (Genesis 12:5). A wandering man who soon finds himself with many herds and many servants (Genesis 24:36) – but no child (Genesis 15:2).
And then one day God comes to him and promises him a son, “one who will come from your own body” (Genesis 15:4). A child of his own! The one thing Abram doesn’t have. And God doesn’t just promise him a child. God promises him a legacy – “So shall your descendants be” (Genesis 15:5).
And what is God’s surety on this? “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars” (Genesis 15:5).
Look up – at the heavens, where the impossible becomes possible.
Look up – instead of looking at your age and your circumstances.
Look up – and count the possibilities with God.
Look up – and remember how faithful God has been to you.
So I wonder ….
Did Abram step out of his tent each night and hope that God would be faithful to allow him to cuddle a son of his own?
Did Abram look up each night and try to count the number of children God promised him was possible?
Did Abram’s heart beat a little faster each night he saw the multitude of stars twinkling?
When his wife asked him “go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her” (Genesis 16:2), did he step outside and consult the stars for an answer before rashly agreeing?
During those 14 years after Ishmael’s birth (Genesis 16:16) and before Isaac’s birth (Genesis 21:5), did he renew his faith in God’s promise by looking up at the stars?
I know personally I find great consolation and comfort in standing still and looking up at the star-filled night sky. I am always awed by God’s artistic majesty on display. I am reminded of how purposefully God has placed each one – and also me! – to shine His grace.
He knows each star.
- 1 Corinthians 15:14 – There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.
- Psalm 147:4 – He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name.
- Isaiah 40:26 – Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing.
And He knows me. He sees me right where I am. He knows what I need to face tomorrow – and has already provided me with the necessary tools and grace. He has a specific purpose for me. He has an opportunity for me. And He will be faithful to me with each step.
How do I know? The stars.
Remember His promise in Genesis 15:5? God brought it to pass!
As Moses stands with Israel on the edge of the Promised Land, reminding them of where they have been and where they are going and how to honor God, he reveals God’s faithfulness to that promise – “The Lord your God has multiplied you, and here you are today, as the stars of heaven in multitude” (Deuteronomy 1:10).
God promised Abram a legacy, and God delivered!
If Abram had been standing there with Moses, he could not have counted each face of God’s faithfulness. They were too many to count!
So what promise are you waiting for?
What dream are you hoping for?
Don’t let go! Go outside and count the stars – remembering each one is a declaration of God’s faithfulness and grace.
And then be like the wise men – “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him.” (Matthew 2:10-11a).
Keep your eyes on “Jesus … the Bright and Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16).
Choose to worship in the waiting.
Choose to worship through the doubts and anxieties.
Choose to worship to sustain your hope.
And never stop looking up.
Marie Fremin. 10/3, 10/7, and 10/8/17