Guest post over at the blog for White River Christian Church. You can find it here.
STAR LIGHT, STAR BRIGHT…
Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight….
In the wee hours of the morning I wrapped myself in a comforter and lay on our deck to watch the meteor shower. The typical nearly empty sky was filled with as many stars I’ve seen since Africa. I was at once reminded how small I am and how big our God is…That in the vastness of all of this, He loves me. He loves me so much that he knows the count of the hairs on my head. Each one of those stars in the sky, He can account for. I hope and I pray that the love I feel from that would be a love that each of us would know. A love that every life deserves. A love, that if every life would be connected too, would change our world. I’m blown away by His goodness and grace, by His perfect design.
Most evenings the haze of the lights from being ‘in town’ block out what few stars there are. But not this night. I could not count them if I tried. It’s just like God to hint out how full He makes life. He can take the emptiest of days and make them full; just like this night sky. He can turn the most horrific of experiences in to a victory. I believe he can take the battered and the bruised and turn them in to warriors for others. I believe he can take the gruesome and bring Glory. I believe He can connect every life to Him. Every experience. He can bring beauty through ashes.
So many people search this world for fulfillment. They search for it in relationships. They look to another to complete them. Some turn to pornography to fill a deep need and others alcohol or drugs. We try to backpack across Europe to find ourselves. We may search for gratification in the work we do…even in service to others. We fill our lives with distractions and busyness because of the discomfort of being with our true selves. To sit alone with our feelings reminds us of how distant we allow ourselves to get from our Savior. We long for contentment and peace; so we search for it. But there is only one source. Connection to Christ.
I walked out on this deck a broken wreck of a mess. I am completely undeserving of His love for me; of the sacrifice He made. But He offers it freely to each of us. To every life. He loves the beggar and the giver the same. The black and the white. The conservative and liberal. He loves the righteous and the sinner. The Sauls before they are Pauls. The 12 Disciples were a conglomerate of weakness and sin, but He chose them, used them and loved them. It isn’t about who they are but who Jesus is. Then and now. Jesus wants us to be connected to Him. And it doesn’t matter who you are or who you aren’t, He loves you too. He loves those that offend you and disagree with you and those that you don’t like just as much as He loves you and me. Every life. He died for every life. He longs to know each of us. And He can use all of us.
The Cross connects every life to Christ. As soon as we can grasp how much God loves us. As soon as we can grasp how undeserving we are of it. As soon as we can grasp that He loves each of us that big…as soon as we can do that, the world will change. Because when we feel this love, we offer His love. When we realize we are as much in need of a Savior as the person next to us, the judgments melt away. When we accept His grace, we can offer grace. We can connect every life to Christ.
I watched over 30 shooting stars and 1 tricky airplane before sleep started to call again. I lay there thinking how can I stay this connected to Him. How can I help others feel this connected to Him? Lord, let my life reflect you to others. Let my love give others a taste of yours. Let my life and my work and my service glorify you…so that my connection with others would connect them to my great God so that they would know Your great love. That in the vastness of the stars…the world…the universe…that in the vastness and greatness and bigness of all of that, you know them by name. For that, I praise you.
Sometimes our quiet time doesn’t look like the Instagram picture of the coffee mug and our Bible. Sometimes it is lying on our deck in an act of worship to God. It could be in the car on your commute to work. Maybe it’s in the shower, sitting in peace or praying aloud. Maybe it’s silent tears when the words don’t come. Maybe it’s playing Barbies when you would rather be doing anything else or cooking dinner when you are too tired to stand. It all connects to Him. Connect your life so that it is all worship to God. Allow Him to be such a part of your life that the quiet time and the prayer time isn’t necessarily a time set aside in the morning or the night but it becomes your life. Allow Him to fill your life like He did the night sky. That all you do, you do in love, in His name.
…I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight.