The immensity of billions of stars, galaxies, and nebulae mesmerize us and draw us into its majesty.
This is as it should be.
I remember looking up into the night sky as a child, and over the years in different settings. Looking at constellations framed by coconut trees in the Philippines. Floating on a darkened ocean and seeing the stars empty into the nighttime horizon.
It's a scene portrayed in many stories and movies. Why? It stirs imagination and touches a deep part of the human soul.
God, the great Creator, hung every star in its place and named each star. Now that's hard to imagine. But this is what is recorded in God's Story.
The creation is a constant reminder of a Creator, even when He is not acknowledged. (Click to Tweet)
Abram, nomadic follower of God
Abram,* the nomadic follower of God, was given a great promise. One day he would become a father, not just of a son, or a nation, but of many nations. Only one problem. He had no children of his own.
He had many slaves and a faithful life-partner in Sarai, but no children. He longed for a child. He was promised many children. But when? He was getting older, as was Sarai.
It's common to feel as if God has forgotten us. It's easy to get swallowed up in our own perspective on things, as limited as it is.
Is God too busy? Is my life too insignificant? It is neither.
God has a timing to His purposes that extends beyond our comprehension. He is eternal, infinite. We are not. (Click to Tweet)
This is when a little star-gazing is helpful, to remind us God is much greater than our perception of Him, otherwise He wouldn't be God.
A genuine conversation with God is also valuable. How does this conversation take place? It depends on how far your relationship with Him has developed.
Abram had no written Scriptures to rely on, so prayer and worship were the primary vehicles of communication with God. Somehow, in some manner, he understood when God was speaking to Him, and God always knew when Abram spoke.
Abram, man of faith
Abram was a man of faith. He trusted God in a simple and real way. He demonstrated this by his responses to God's direction.
God reassured Abram along the way, even when Abram doubted.
Though God reassured Him, "Abram, don't be afraid. I am your shield. Your reward will be very great." [Gen. 15:1 GW] Abram questioned God.
From Abram's view of things, having no children, it seemed the only wise thing was to make preparations to leave his family and wealth in the hands of a trusted male servant.
But once again, God reassured Abram. How? He told Abram his plan was not needed, and had him look up at the sky, "…count the stars if you are able to count them. That's how many descendants you will have!" [Gen. 15:5 GW]
At this point, Abram believed the LORD—the Eternal One, the God who is Self-Existent—and received God's unconditional approval and acceptance. God knew Abram trusted Him, so God acknowledged Abram's faith.
God also reaffirmed His promise to Abram. Abram would possess the land promised to him when God led him out of Ur of the Chaldeans.
Though he had faith, Abram didn't understand. Once again he questioned God, "…how can I be certain…?"
Isn't this our perpetual question, even though we believe?
This is the nature of faith. It is a trust in God Himself, not in our own sense of assurance. (Click to Tweet)
This is the first part of a draft from a new book I'm working on. The story is taken from Genesis 15. I'll do a follow-up post next week, which will be part 2. I'd appreciate any feedback or thoughts you might have.
Also, do you have a story of your own where God has made Himself known to you in connection to the universe or creation? If so, please share it with me, either in the comments section or by sending me an email at– firstname.lastname@example.org
*Note– Abram is what Abraham's name was before God changed it (in Gen. 17), and his wife's name, Sarai, was also changed to Sarah.