Last week was probably the week when I looked up to the sky the most – both during the day, and at nightfall. I say that because I have taken more than 150 pictures of the sky with my phone, (not including those ones I took from my husband’s phone when we were out together and when we were home). I actually shared one photo on Facebook last week about that one night when I spotted my husband while he was viewing the waxing crescent moon and the passing clouds at dusk from our living room window. Beautiful view. So beautiful that I found my feet glued to where I was standing and quietly enjoyed the view myself. But more than the feelings of awe that covered me as I stood there – there is something more special that I felt. I felt a sense se of security and peace to know that the One behind the vast sky that I behold with my very eyes, is standing there and is looking back at me – more mindful of me than the beauty of the young moon and the boundless sky. David, the shepherd boy in the Bible probably felt something like this when he wrote this in Psalms 8:3-4…
“When I consider the heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him”?
In his introduction of the first of three elements on how to create a conducive environment to our spiritual growth as part of a new series on transformation, our church Pastor shared how the first half of Psalms 19 talks about creation and what it reveals about God, and then it transitions to the importance of truth that can be found in God’s Word as you read through the rest of the passage. It also felt special when he said that creation is like God’s invitation for us to come to Him and get to know Him better. Have you ever received a wedding invitation or any invitation for a special event? You would notice how the invitation cards are designed elegantly and are usually made of special kind of stationery paper and with highly decorative handwriting on it. Such effort is exerted for a wedding invitation because this serves as the first glimpse of the event which conveys a message that this is something very important and not to be missed. It’s kind of the same with how God invites us through His creation so that we would come to Him. He mixes the colors of orange, red, yellow, purple to paint a beautiful sunset. The intricate design and jaw-dropping beauty of God’s creation declare that this could not happen by chance. There is an important message behind it and it is God’s way of directly speaking to us – inviting us to draw near to Him. This thought blows my mind away. That the God of the sea and the dry land invites me and offers me the opportunity to witness His glory with every wind that blows, and with every bird that sings, with the morning sun, with the moon and stars at night, with every pound that the waves of the sea make against the rocks, and the changing sky above our heads. How awesome is that, and how can one decline such invitation. The works of His hands are expressions of His glory – and should not be missed. Psalm 19:1 clearly states that.
“The heavens declare the glory of God;
The skies proclaim the work of His hands”.
A few months ago, I had the privilege of sharing with my Pastor about a family situation when my father was hospitalized and my siblings and I were left to make some crucial planning and decisions. Yes, big words. And we are a big family of many different perspectives and opinions. You can easily guess what happens next when we all get together to talk and figure things out. Everybody insists that what they have in mind is what needs to be done. It was a difficult moment of taming the tongue – and most of the time, our conversation did not end very well. I shared with my Pastor how I participated in those strong arguments and he encouraged me to ask for forgiveness for hurting their feelings with my words. I remember how I nodded in agreement, but deep inside I felt a certain amount of resistance because what he was asking was too difficult for my hardened heart to give in to.
I took a deep breath before I hit the answer button on my phone when my brother called me a few days after. After he relayed what the current situation is about our father and that all seems to get well in terms of his health – with a broken voice, I started to ask if he can forgive me for saying hurtful words towards him. I rehearsed the rest of what I wanted to say but he cut me off to say that he should be the one to apologize. He said he is taking the full responsibility of why our meetings and discussions were messed up because of his failure to listen and extend understanding – especially with me who live the farthest from everyone. I am thankful for this sweet reconciliation.
In his email reply after I shared that great news, my Pastor wrote that it sounded like God really “showed up” in my phone conversation with my brother. I so believe He did. God meets us there when we step out in faith. As I stood behind my husband that night in our living room, and while looking up to the night sky, God brought me back to remember how He “showed up” in our family situation and how He humbled and healed our hearts – and restored my father to his health. Every day of last week, whenever I look up to the sky, God shows up. He tells us that He is near, watching over us, shows up when we face difficult situations and invites us to come to Him. He shows up when we look up.