Growing up in the Ozarks on Bear Creek Road, our little green house sat up on a hill out in the country away from the glittering lights of Branson. I remember many times growing up being outside and staring at the stars. On a clear night they stretched from one end of the skyline to the other, a canopy of flickering lights that caused my neck to ache and my heart to wonder at the deeper meaning of life.
I remember staring in awe at the moon and stars, learning from teachers and books how big these stars were, and how far they are away. How could I see these stars, many as far away as 1,000 light years? A light year is the distance you go in a year traveling constantly the speed of light (186,000 miles per second). Our earth is close to 25,000 mile around. Traveling the speed of light means you would circle the earth over 7 times in one second! Goodness, that just blows me away! How bright these stars must be to be able to be seen at that distance!
From the time I was about five years old all the way through my college years while being home for the summer, I recall many, many conversations with God outside by myself staring at the stars. When younger, my questions were more of the wonder of what lay out there, if God was real, and who was I and what was my purpose for life? As I got older, my questions grew more personal and relational, especially after I gave my life to Christ while staring at even more stars in the mountains of Colorado on a Young Life backpacking trip.
I kind of feel sorry for folks who grow up in the city, where the artificial lights of man drown out God’s celestial displays. They keep their vision down here on earth, focusing on self and what’s right in front of them, rather than taking the time to look up and away from this reality to ultimate reality, the larger view of life and truth and destiny. Who are we? Why are we here? Is there really purpose to life? Is there a God, and does he care about us if he is real?
Science, once thought to be the enemy of those who believe in God, truly points to the reality of a Designer outside of our space and time. Our universe, science now asserts, has a beginning point. Since everything created must have a cause, who or what caused our universe, with all its intricate laws and amazing fine-tuning in order for us to have life here on earth?
In my own pilgrimage through life, I’ve become more and more convinced in the God of the Bible, and in the one in history who intersected our space and time to become one of us, Jesus of Nazareth. The star of Bethlehem pointed to this great miracle, just as the stars I stare up at night point to the God of all.
I encourage you to take some time on a clear night to go someplace away from man’s artificial lights, and stare at the stars and moons and planets...and wonder. Talk with God about your hopes, fears, and dreams. Ask Him to reveal to your deep self who He is, and who you are in His eyes.
I hope you will come to realize again, or maybe for the first time, that the God who made all of the planets and stars and said it was good, fashioned you and I individually and carefully with His great love and said, very good!