One of the great advantages of being in the middle of winter in the northern hemisphere are the long dark nights, which wonderfully lend themselves to doing a bit of stargazing. On a clear night, it’s an amazing experience to go out, in a field, and spend some time looking up. One feels very small staring into the vast space ‘out there’. One particularly lovely sight to behold right now is Venus. Just after sunset (again - in the northern hemisphere) Venus shines so brightly and beautifully. How I’ve enjoyed being able to see its stunning light!
Venus, although a planet, is sometimes called ‘the evening star’, and, at other times, ‘the morning star’. And Jesus, in Revelation, also calls Himself ‘the morning star’.
Looking at the night sky I realised afresh how man is made to look up. We spend our days walking on earth, and for us ‘the heavens’ are above. When we think of the heavens, we automatically look upwards. I think God wanted it that way. I believe we’re created to look up.
Just as we can’t enjoy the beauty of the heavenly lights without looking up, so we can’t find God by looking down. But the enemy is busy trying to divert our gaze away from Jesus. Satan seeks to have us either looking downward (focussing on our problems), or inward (focussing on ourselves). We must do our best to crane our necks to look up.
During my evening stargazing expeditions, outside in the dark, and alone in the quietness, I’ve experienced a wonderful sense of the presence of God. He’s comforted and quietened me, helping me to put my personal struggles in perspective. I’ve always returned home encouraged, re-invigorated and refreshed. It does me so much good to take the time to look up.
It’s true, however, that we can spend a whole life-time stargazing, but still keep on learning more about the beauty of the universe. In fact, all we can do is scratch the surface with our knowledge. Space is mind-bogglingly vast! I believe it’s the same with the Lord. The more time we spend looking at Him in our hearts, getting to know Him and meditating on Him, the more we realise just how big He is. I’d like to encourage you to take some time looking at the night sky, if you can. But, even more, I want to say, “Look up at Jesus”.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for the beauty of the stars at night. But thank You even more for being ‘the bright and morning star’. Help me to focus my heart on You. Amen.
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