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by Phil Ware


This was written several weeks ago after a wonderful experience with my brother and my son. Little did I know how poignantly true it would be on the week we planned to publish it. May God help us see the stars and not just the gloom of darkness.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
    even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
    even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

  — Psalm 139:7-12

    The surf rhythmically crashed against the shore, its incessant beat constantly altering the face of the beach. The wind kept up its consistent howling. The last rays of orange and gold faded from the clouds on the eastern horizon as the sun bid farewell, sinking behind us until tomorrow’s dawn. The moonless night filled the spaces around us with darkness. Each fifteen-minute interval brought a refreshing draft of cooler breeze. Alone on the gulf coast beach 32 miles past the end of the last paved road, the only man made light came from dim glows on the distant horizon many miles away and from the tiny pinpoints of speeding light from distant satellites.

    Deep darkness descended. Blazing hot transformed into the cool of night. Suddenly, the impenetrable expanse and the dark void of space came alive with light. With no clouds and no ambient man-generated light, the heavens suddenly teemed with brilliance, depth, and shimmering beauty.

I know this beauty is always there. It’s just that I can’t usually see it.
    The wonder of God’s twinkling heavens normally lies hidden behind the veil of city light, urban smog, and curtained windows. Not for us tonight! Miles away from any city, with no one on the beach for as far as we could see, the glorious expanse was a dazzling array of beautiful gems. I know this beauty is always there. It’s just that I can’t usually see it. I forget how amazing God’s heavens really are. Memory is a poor copy of this heavenly glory. The overwhelming enormity of the heavens and the bedazzling avalanche of heavenly lights are beyond imagination, much less description. The only word appropriate is the word, “AWESOME!”

    So many of God’s blessings are similar to these starry hosts: they are near, they are dazzling, they are ever-present, they are marvelous, and quite often, they are hidden from our sight. We forget their beauty. We forget their consistent twinkling. We quit looking for them in the dark nights of faith. Our busy lives, our distracting pursuits, our earthbound obsessions, and our forgetfulness team together and rob us of their reassuring presence. We give up on wonder. We cease our pursuit of what is awesome.

    So if the graciousness of God and the providential care of the Creator seem distant and hidden, remember the twinkling stars. They are always there. While sometimes hidden from view, they have always been there, twinkling all along.

I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases,
    His mercies never come to an end;
    They are new every morning;
Great is Thy faithfulness.

“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
    Therefore I will hope in Him.

  — Lamentations 3:21-24
      Title: ""
      Author: Phil Ware
      Publication Date: September 17, 2001


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