In between the scattered rain we have had in our neck of the woods throughout this last month, we have had some gorgeously clear and bright starry nights. Each night as I stand on the patio while Fiver, our young Australian Shepherd mix, does his final check of the backyard before we retire for night, I can’t help but look up and be mesmerized by the heavenly scene that projects itself on the skies that overlook our home.
As with many other times, I could not help but think this last week about how sweet it will be when I can finally enjoy this view in the quiet of the evening while holding hands with my lovely wife. Piper loved the stars! I’m sure that I have told of the science course of study that she taught our kids during their homeschool years about the constellations.
Ever since that class she always enjoyed pointing out the various star formations and sharing a little bit of their history and while I am not too sure that she actually knew all the names of the 88 officially recognized constellations, she sure seemed to know a lot of them! I have many fond memories of evening walks with Piper amongst the towering redwoods or pine forests in the different California State Parks that we liked to frequent during the summer months which began on our honeymoon and ended (at least at this point…) during our 30th anniversary camp celebration in July of 2005.
During those many walks we both enjoyed holding hands in the serenity of the mountain air, looking up into the starry night with the only sounds meeting our ears being the swish of the wind blowing the tops of the trees, the crackle of fire pits around the campground and the occasional sound of campers quietly laughing in the background.
The other special thing I relished during those times was seeing how Piper’s whole countenance would brighten up when sharing her knowledge with me or the kids. Her passion for homeschooling would become very visible at times like those!
Genesis 1:14-19 tells us of the day that God created the lights in our sky:
“Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the sky to separate the day from the night. They will be signs and will mark religious festivals, days, and years. They will be lights in the sky to shine on the earth." And so it was. God made the two bright lights: the larger light to rule the day and the smaller light to rule the night. He also made the stars. God put them in the sky to give light to the earth, to dominate the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw that it was good. There was evening, then morning-a fourth day.’” (God’s Word ©)
Those few quiet moments of solitude that I spend every night alone with our dog have been some of the most reflective and strengthening opportunities that I have after a stressful day caring for my wife’s needs as well as with everything else that needs to be accomplished during the day… Today, along with the normal activities, it is all about getting a new water line installed for our home which includes digging a trench, burrowing under the driveway, getting permits etc… Thank God we have insurance to help… PTL!
Many times, the evening get-Piper-ready-for-bed routine is the most difficult care activity of the day. Piper is usually at her weakest point and many times so am I… which doesn’t always make for an easy transaction! So, without much need to say so, Philippians 4:13 where Paul declared that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Has become my standby, my foundation and the necessary muscle for our nightly activities!
I think that God not only put those stars in the sky for physical light but also for a vivid picture of His love, His faithfulness and His watchfulness over us who look up to Him. A moment or two lost in the overwhelming expanse of the night sky with the thousands of heavenly lights shining upon me each evening reassures my soul, strengthens my tired body and mind and encourages me in my unshakable knowing of how much He loves and cares for Piper and I.
It is also an amazing tell-tale sign that He is always at my side with a fresh anointing for me and a new resolve that will enable me to do all things that night through Him who is strengthening me… and in the morning, the light peeking under the blinds on our bedroom window immediately reminds me that He hasn’t left and is still there to help me through the new day.
So, I encourage you today, to think on the beauty of all that He has placed around you… JUST FOR YOU! Then the next time you’re feeling a little low, depressed or thinking that you are all alone, remember that He is ALWAYS there for you… For the stars in the evening skies accompany you through the storms at night… and the sun in the morning expanse of the heavens above gives new hope for a fresh, peaceful, wonderful and miracle-packed new day!
Have a great new week… and as you do, keep asking yourself… “What am I expecting the stars that God placed in the heavens to remind me of tonight”