Look up and see!
Who created these?
He brings out the stars by number;
He calls all of them by name.
Because of His great power and strength,
not one of them is missing.
– Isaiah 40:26 (CSB)
I grew up on three-and-a-half acres of rented land, close enough to town that a trip to the store was no big deal but far enough away from everything that I could hear the crickets chirp during the twilight hours. The soft neighing of horses floated across the dirt road, changing to excited whinnies as they began to run and play. Sky-high, skinny pine trees bent and waved in the wind, never breaking but coming perilously close to it in my eyes. A bullfrog lived near the water spigot, competing with the owls for noisiest nocturnal creature. The neighbors’ big black-and-white dog would lay in the middle of the road, always confident that cars would go around him.
We didn’t have air conditioning, so summers were brutal. If we weren’t at the beach or the library, my brother and I would sprawl across the living room floor, on a sheet my mother misted with water, underneath the ceiling fan buzzing at full blast. Fudgecicles melting quickly, we watched episodes of “I Love Lucy,” cracking up at the antics of the goofy redhead. Our dog was always close by, ready to catch any chocolately goodness we missed, but mostly just looking to find a cool spot.
Dinner, after my father got home from work, was usually something cold – salad, sandwiches, occasionally cereal. Sometimes, after eating, we would run through the sprinkler, giggling and competing to see who could do the best jumps through the streams of water. As the oldest, I of course always won, though my brother probably thinks otherwise.
On the hottest nights, when nobody could sleep, we would lay on an old quilt in the front yard and look up at the stars. Nobody said much. Just gazed at black velvet, decorated with sparkling diamonds. The wind in the trees, the frogs and owls and crickets singing, the horses playing, the stars slowly moving, as they do, across the sky. I felt very small, and oddly alone, in the midst of that.
I still feel that way when I stand out on my back porch of an evening, only now I know the proper label to attach to the emotion: awe. The stars remind me that He is interested in every detail, no matter how small. He creates only beautiful, good things. He is continually active and present in every aspect of life.
I think of the uncounted prayers that have been whispered, under the cover of darkness, with moon and stars as only witness. Of the animals who know it’s time to sleep, without anyone telling them, when the sky shifts from blue to black. Of the God who has ears to hear every cry and hands large enough to hold all His creatures close.
And I am small in the midst of that, very small. But nowhere near alone.
Who am I, that the God who breathes fire into the stars above, should notice me? Love me? Save me?
What an incredible God!
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