Have you ever fallen asleep under the stars? I had one experience last summer at camp where the weather was beautiful, and the stars were so engaging that I wanted to be right under them. So I grabbed my sleeping bag, got comfy in a hammock and fell asleep gazing at the stars.So many people find signs and meaning in the stars. There is the sun, our biggest Star. We see other planets, which look like stars as they are so far away. We even have the one star of Bethlehem, which lead the Wise men and shepherds to Jesus on that one great night many years ago. The stars show us Beauty in the dark, a light in the darkness. Seeing the beauty of them lighting up a night sky, it's impossible to dismiss any thoughts about the existence of God.
Today's Psalm states:'Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments! His descendants will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house; and his righteousness endures for ever. Light rises in the darkness for the upright; the LORD is gracious, merciful, and righteous. It is well with the man who deals generously and lends, who conducts his affairs with justice. For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered for ever' (Psalms 112:1-6).
This Psalm tells us how light will rise in darkness for those who follow God's path. This is more than a literal light as in brightness, but more how goodness and justice can come from any situation if we put our trust and hope in God. Like the stars, we each have those sparks of joy, of beauty in our lives, even in the darkness. This help us to not forget the pains and hardships, but to embrace them and move past them, towards the beauty and light. In order to see the beauty and joy, we need to give God some of our burdens and ask for aid moving forward. Sit out under the stars tonight and see the beauty of God, if even for a few minutes.
Today's prayer comes from 'The Gospel Coalition' a prayer for seeing the Beauty:
Dear heavenly Father, it’s only through the gospel of your grace that I’ve come to know you to be a beautiful God. Before then, your loveliness was veiled to me, mostly by the darkness of my unbelief. But now, your splendor outshines the sun; your excellences stagger my imagination; and your kindness melts my heart.
I see your beauty in the things you have made. Open my eyes wider, Father. Grant me jaw-dropping wonder as I come even more alive to your fingerprints everywhere. Your great artistry, and the joy you experienced creating a world, loudly declare your glory.
I see your beauty in people--all kinds of people. Really, in every person, if I take time to look. Oh, Father, continue to heal my vision of people. Though we're all broken, yet as your image bearers, each of us reveals glimmers and glimpses of your loveliness. Forgive me when I see anybody’s brokenness, to the exclusion of his or her beauty.
I see your beauty in Jesus. Indeed, Father, I've come to behold your beauty most expressly and fully in Jesus. No one has ever seen you completely--in the fullness of your glory and being; but Jesus, your Son, at your side, has made you known to us (John 1:18). Hallelujah, many times over, for this gift--this incomparable honor and privilege. In Jesus, I see the magnificence of your mercies, the grandeur of your grace, and the wonders of your love. Show me more, Father; show me more and more and more.
I long for the Day when we will see the unfettered undiminished beauty of your face (Rev. 22:4); for that will be our first Day in the new heaven and new earth. Hasten that Day, LORD. Until then, I bless you for your commitment to make all things beautiful in their time--including us, your children. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name. Amen.