It is “pitch black” here in the country at night.
No city lights. No street lights. No next door neighbor with house lights. Only thick, seemingly impenetrable darkness.
Last night, I went out on our front deck before crawling into bed. It was so dark, I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. But stars??? I couldn’t possibly have counted them all! Twinkling lights in the sky, appearing tiny only because of their great distance from Earth.
Numbers about stars “blow” my mind, Lord. Our sun is “only” 93 milliion miles away. The next closest “neighbor” star, Proxima Centauri, is 4.24 light years away. That’s 587 trillion miles!!! No wonder the stars we see in the nighttime sky look so tiny to us! And we can’t even see most of them from Earth — all 100 billion of them (that’s 1 billion trillion… also known as 1 plus 21 zeroes).
“Who among the gods is like You, Lord? Who is like You — majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” (Exodus 15:11)
Yet You are not just powerful… You are personal.
“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power!” (Psalm 147:4)
AMAZING!!! I didn’t realize how much so until this morning, when You and I welcomed the day together. I began to think about these lights in the darkness. And as I did, my mind shifted — inevitable, perhaps — to one of my favorite “Lights” in the darkness:
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the HOPE to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people..” (Ephesians 1:18)
And I realized something. The HOPE You offer us is as unique and personal as those trillions of stars. Yet it isn’t light years away from us. It is right inside of us, where we need it most.
There’s Your RENEWING HOPE: “Those who HOPE in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
And Your EMPOWERING HOPE: “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my HOPE comes from Him. Truly He is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Fortress, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 62:5-6)
How about CONFIDENT HOPE? “Now faith is confidence in what we HOPE for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)
I love Your SUSTAINING HOPE! “And we boast in the HOPE of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, HOPE. And HOPE does not put us to shame…” (Romans 5:2b-5a)
Isn’t it all possible because of Your UNFAILING HOPE? “… the Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their HOPE in His unfailing love.” (Psalm 147:11)
I could go on and on… couldn’t I, Lord? After all, according to several search sources, HOPE is mentioned in Your Word from 129 to 142 times!!! That’s A LOT of HOPE!!!
Maybe HOPE doesn’t compare with the billion trillion stars You created, Lord… I mean, that’s A LOT of STARS!!! Stars whose distance from us is too great to fathom. Yes, they are awe-inspiring in their sheer number and magnitude. And yet, if I could choose to fill up my “treasure chest” with one or the other, how could I not want more HOPE… any day and every day???
HOPE that truly lights up the darkness around me. HOPE that lights me up, even when the darkness remains.
For now, Lord, I would be grateful for a double-portion of Your JOYFUL HOPE… as I look up into the night sky with wonder.
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in HOPE, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:11-12)
HOPE-full tonight… 🙂