Touch the stars

When our kids were little, we used to shut off all the lights inside and outside our house, hold their hands, and make our way out to the gravel road by flashlight. Then, we would turn off that last light, and the sky would come alive. There’s nothing quite like gazing deep into the night, and having no way to count the multitude of stars that shine back.

God lovingly and intentionally spoke each one of those stars into existence. And the same God knew exactly where our little family was standing staring up at the heavens on those nights.

“When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place— what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?”‭‭
– Psalms 8:3-4

Now that we live in a large city, our view isn’t quite the same. That wide-open country sky is veiled by the glow across the metro. In fact, we often have to use our sky view phone app to see where the stars are supposed to be.

Life is like that. What was once clear can become clouded. Troubles arise, decisions aren’t so simple, and distractions vie for our attention.

In the midst of uncertainty, I want to remember that my way forward isn’t determined by what I see, it rests in Who I trust.

My God can touch the moon and stars with His fingers, and move them into place. So, surely He can move my circumstances, my life and my heart, and place them exactly where they need to be.

I will understand my identity and purpose, and find my way, when I realize and embrace who He is.

I am a person that God, who touches the stars, thinks about and cares about.

I am not lost. I am found.

When it rains

We jumped into the car after church determined to make the trek to Silver Dollar City to see the Christmas lights. It was the last day of the season for the holiday festivities. The skies were overcast and gloomy, but our trusty weather app said the rains wouldn’t start until later in the night.

We sailed through the three-hour drive, with virtually no traffic, and were thrilled that the park wasn’t full. That meant quick lines and more fun!

Then, I felt it. A drop. Next, a drizzle, just a sputtering from the sky. We had just gotten a funnel cake sampler, so we found the last table under a canopy and began to eat. The rains came, and began to soak our winter coats. Matt had thought to bring our big rainbow umbrella, and so we huddled close together and began to walk slowly underneath to the next show so we could get in from the rain.

Under the rainbow umbrella canopy trying to stay dry

Apparently many, many others had the same idea. The theater was packed full of wet people looking for respite.

The lights went down. An angel appeared. He recounted meeting Mary and how she and her betrothed traveled to Bethlehem. There, she gave birth to a son, God’s Son. And the world was changed. The skies opened up in praise, shepherds went to find the baby, wisemen followed a star to worship the tiny king. The Gospel was shared.

It wasn’t rain that wet my cheeks inside the theater. It was the realization that God made it rain that day so this crowd could know the truth about Jesus.

The downpour lessened once the show was finished, and we enjoyed our time at the park and all its lights.

We love the Christmas lights at Silver Dollar City!

Rain will often change our plans, our moods, and our perspectives. Sometimes our lives are pummeled by storms and soaked in sorrowful tears. Rain can bring beautiful growth and refreshment, as well as hesitation and even peril.

When the hard rains come, and they will come, I want to remember these three things I realized dodging the drops at SDC.

  1. Rain can bring us closer to those we love. Instead of scattering, when we were facing rain and potentially changed plans, my family huddled together underneath the dry cover of our umbrella. We used the rain as an opportunity to be together and move together.
  2. When it rains, look for the Gospel on display. God does not waste our pain or our tears. Often our struggles are a conduit for God’s message of hope and redemption. God may make it rain specifically to redirect or prepare the heart fields to receive His One and Only Son.
  3. The rain will end. There is always a start and an end to the rain, and to the storms in life. Believe that, and hold onto that. The rain may last so much longer than forecasted or come unexpectedly, but it will not last. The clouds will roll back to reveal the sun that was always there.