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Stars In The Mountains
Riiiinnnnggggg. My alarm went off at 4:00 a.m. I stumbled out of bed and tip-toed to the deck off the family room. I peered into the pre-dawn sky and saw two stars and a bunch of clouds. Rats! Another year, another disappointment.
Once again, I fell for the meteorologist’s report of the spectacular meteor shower visible on that early August morning. I thought it would be different this year. Rather than being in my suburban town with its ambient light, I was in the mountains of North Carolina. Surely, I would have better luck here.
My sister-in-law was visiting so we agreed to meet on the deck at 4:00 a.m. for the spectacular show. (Our husbands told us to enjoy ourselves, they would hear about it in the morning). When I woke up and saw that the clouds were obscuring all but two little stars, I almost went back to bed. Instead, I curled up on the couch, determined to check again. A few minutes later my sister-in-law came into the room and I told her the sad news. We walked out on the deck to check one more time and WOW! The sky was amazing!
We were mesmerized by a sky full of stars and then it happened – swoosh! A bright light streaked across the sky. As our eyes adjusted to the darkness we saw many more meteors streaking across the sky in every direction. It was magical. We stayed outside for over an hour even though our necks ached from constantly looking up. Only the faint glow of the coming sunrise drove us inside.
Stars On The River
I remembered another amazing, star-filled night I experienced a decade earlier. It is still one of the most wondrous experiences of my life. I was on a mission trip in the Amazon region of Brazil and we had an overnight trip on the Amazon River. We slept in hammocks, on a boat, on the Amazon River. I woke up during the night and saw a sky unlike anything I had ever seen before. It was breathtakingly beautiful. Towns and villages with light sources are few and far between on the Amazon so the sky was inky black. It looked as if someone had draped a piece of black velvet over a bowl that had millions of tiny holes poked in it and illuminated from behind by some unknown light source.
I finally understood what God meant when he told Abraham that he would makes his descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky. Yahweh brought him outside, and said, “Look now toward the sky, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” He said to Abram, “So will your offspring be.” Genesis 15:5 (WEB) It was easy to imagine Abraham looking up into the night sky and seeing a similar sight to what I saw in Brazil. Much different that the night sky I see in my hometown.
I woke up my son and his friend to share the experience. We read Psalm 8 as we gazed up at the night sky.
Yahweh, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth, who has set your glory above the heavens! (verse 1)
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained: what is man, that you think of him? What is the son of man, that you care for him? For you have made him a little lower than God, and crowned him with glory and honor. You make him ruler over the works of your hands. (verses 3-5)
We marveled at the power and majesty of God when we read Psalm 147:4. What an amazing God we serve.
He counts the number of the stars. He calls them all by their names.
I guess you could say I’m star-struck. I know come next August, I will once again set my alarm, wake up in the middle of the night and scan the night sky for stars and meteor showers. I’ve already got my spot picked out.