I’ve been stargazing again.
It seems, so often lately, that when I close my eyes and begin to talk to God, He shows me the stars. Though my heart comes heavy with cares and, many times, bleeding from the wounds of life, He simply leads me out into a spacious place where I can see nothing but the dark night sky, littered with the light of the stars. It’s beautiful enough to draw my attention and make me forget – at least momentarily – my troubles.
I sometimes wonder if this is His plan, to grant me a small reprieve. There is a side of me that always expects to conduct business with God. Learn something. Let go of something. Do something. Change something. Stargazing does not always fit into my plans.
I have been conditioned to work, in order to gain some kind of steady progress. This is not a reflection of God’s expectations, but of my own flawed and very human heart. Over the years, God has been steadily healing me of this mindset, but I still sometimes struggle to come, just for the sake of coming. I find it difficult to come into the presence of the Healer and not come with the goal of being healed. I suppose I am what you would call function-oriented.
But God is not. He works, but more than that, He loves. He is aware of my need, and able to meet it, but that is not always His first or only aim.
It reminds me of the way my children will sometimes come running to their father, crying and carrying on about something that hurts. Rarely are their wounds fatal, and so I am eager for the noise to stop, for the problem to be dealt with so we can return to business as usual. But my husband will just let them cry. While I am reaching for a band-aid, he stoops down to embrace them with a long hug. And I watch in amazement because, most of the time, they leave His embrace without asking for the band-aid, or needing the problem to be solved. Somehow, the hug – the calm and patient reassurance of his steady love and willing strength- was enough.
Similarly, as I come to God with my broken heart and frustrated life, He leads me gently out to gaze again at the stars. Why the stars, my befuddled heart wonders? And then His Word speaks:
“He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!” Psalm 147:3-5
The stars, in Scripture, are home to signs which point to God’s faithfulness, to lead and to provide and to be all that we need. (Matthew 2:2, 9-10). They are evidence of His promises to miraculously bring abundant life out of the womb of darkness (Genesis 15:5). They are twinkling reminders that He misses nothing (Isaiah 40:26). No detail is overlooked. They whisper to our heart that all our pain will give birth to something more glorious than we could ever imagine for ourselves (Genesis 22:17; Isaiah 66:9, ERV). They teach us how to worship. (Psalm 136:7-9) They assure our fainting hearts that He has everything in the universe not only under His control, but working in such a way that we are left to stand in awe at what He’s done (Isaiah 45:11-12). They are a blanket spread before us, inviting us to just come and rest our weary heads, and leave the rest to the Maker of it all (Psalm 148:3-6).
Everything may not be “fixed” today, but I have spent another night gazing at the stars with God. And somehow I am ready to embrace the unfolding of another perfectly imperfect day, trusting that – whether I need a band-aid or a nightlight at the end of it – He will know just what to do.
May you, too, learn to be still and gaze at the stars with God, and allow Him to comfort you in all your troubles. Whether He binds up your wounds or counts the stars in your hearing, may you find peace in His presence and the faith to trust that He is perfect in all of His ways.