Our week proved to be rather challenging, First the torsion bar on our garage door opener failed. Fortunately we had one of our two vehicles outside so had a way to get around. They had to order a new torsion bar which they planned to install today (but one of their helpers called in sick so maybe they will come tomorrow!). Then on Wednesday we had a powerful storm that passed through with wind gusts up to 100 mph. The wind lasted all day, with occasional rain and hail. Needless to say there were trees down everywhere—on houses, vehicles and power lines. We lost power about 1 p.m. and would be without power for 48 hours. Fortunately we have a hand pump on our well so had water and have a wood stove to keep the house warm and to heat water. One of our neighbors, an elderly single lady, only has electric heat so had to go stay at a local motel (as did others). Her house had gone down to 48 degrees inside!
All of this added to the restrictions from the response to the pandemic and the bizarre results of the presidential election and what that may mean for the future of our country, there was lots for the mind to think about. Oh, yes, and a couple of the members of my morning men’s Bible study at a local Laundromat got COVID-19 and one, who is in his 80’s, is hospitalized. And, oh, yes, the pastor of our church suddenly resigned so things have been a bit irregular to the congregation.
But, Wednesday night, the winds subsided and the skies cleared and as I went out to get wood for the stove before heading for a rather cold bedroom, I looked up at the amazing display of the stars and could make out several of the familiar constellations: Big and Little Dippers, Orion’s Belt, etc. They appeared to be brighter than ever (partly because our neighborhood was in the dark!), and were just where God had placed them at the beginning of Creation more than 6,000 years ago! On day four of creation, “God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heaven to give light on the earth;’ and it was so” (Gen. 1:14,15). Those same stars in God’s heavens have been there ever since, and, along with the moon, providing light at night and giving direction to us since they can be counted on to stay where He put them as evidence that He is not only Creator, but Sustainer as well. “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth…all things have created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Col. 1:15,16). (Even though we are traveling through space at 67,000 mph!).
When God made His covenant with Abraham, “He told took him outside and said, ‘Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be’” (Gen. 15:5 cf 22:17; 26:4; 32:13; Dt. 1:10; 10:22; Heb. 11:12). Astronomy in its research estimates that the “known” universe contains at least 200 billion galaxies, each made up of about 100 billion stars, The 2010 estimate was 300 sextillion stars (300 x 10 to the 21st power)! God, who made each of these, not only knows the exact number, but has a name for each of them. “Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number. He calls them all by name; because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing” (Isa. 40:26). “He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is the Lord…” (Psa. 147:4,5a).
So, Wednesday night as I looked up at the star-studded heavens at the same stars shown to Abraham and the same stars David observed as he spent time in the fields tending sheep and later wrote: “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Thy name in all the earth, Who hast displayed Thy splendor above the heavens”…which “are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands” (Psa. 8:1; 19:1), I was reminded that God is still in control. He is still holding everything together. If He’s got the universe under control, I could surely trust Him for the current issues we are facing! And, I was also reminded that the horrific period of judgment of the earth called the “Great Tribulation” (Mt. 24:21) or the “Time of Jacob’s Distress” (Jer. 30:7) hadn’t begun, for at that time “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Mt. 24:29 cf Joel 2:10; 3:15; Rev. 6:13). (Also, we were still here on earth, and I believe the Bible teaches that before that period of God’s wrath on the earth prior to His coming to reign, He will remove the Church…See Ro. 5:9; II Thes. 2:1-9; I Thes.. 1:10; 4: 13-18; Jn. 14:1-3; I Cor. 15:51,52; Rev. 4:1). As I gazed up at the orderliness and beauty of God’s creation, I was reminded also of God’s faithfulness and that His “loving kindness is everlasting.” He is still in charge! “To Him who made the great lights, for His lovingkindness is everlasting. The sun to rule by day, for His lovingkindness is everlasting, The moon and stars to rule by night, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” (Psa. 136:7-9).