I happen to be married to the best photographer on the planet. So, my second job in life is ‘Photographer’s Assistant’. Living in Texas provides an unlimited variety of landscape photo ops. My wife, Denise has always dreamed of finding a super dark place on a clear night to get ‘the shot’ of the Milky Way. So, after years of talking about it, we planned for months to visit the Big Bend area of West Texas in the spring of this year. That’s one of the most remote places in the United States and while debatable, it likely has the darkest sky in the Western Hemisphere. We had to go during a new moon, pray for a clear sky, and be up and on location by 4:00 AM. For us, it was a one-shot deal. Being a nine-hour drive from Dallas, we had to get it or miss it—maybe forever.
I’m a strategist and a planner by nature, so I was focused on the goal. But what I wasn’t prepared for was the experience. All of the aspects of a required perfect storm came together for us. We arrived at what we hoped would be the perfect spot outside a little town called Alpine at just the right time, turned off the car and car lights. We saw total darkness in dessert all around us. But then we stepped out of the car, looked up at a sky without a single cloud, and saw something so magnificent we gasped out loud at what was above.
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork” wrote the Psalmist. There it was, screaming “God is real” and that He made all of this just so we could look up and have no other explanation. I thought of David, the shepherd on duty at night, seeing the same thing. Only he didn’t have city lights to escape from to get his view. It was probably commonplace for him, yet he understood the magnitude of what he saw on any clear night. But we’ve built a technologically advanced world, filled with light and activity at any time of the day or night. God’s display has been crowded out by man’s advancements today.
I’ve heard the verse in Jeremiah for years that we are loved with an everlasting love. That’s not easy for me to grasp. But, the everlasting nature of God was on display that early morning. And it was a gift given in a way that made eternity past and the infinite universe we can’t understand even though we see it above us obviously clear. Jesus said “Before Abraham was, I Am.” No foolin’. It was right there to see.
Did Denise get the shot? Oh yes. But we both got so much more. We had a special moment in which God reminded us that He is sovereign over all we can see and all we can’t even fathom. Pastor Chuck Swindoll recently said we need to stop calling everything awesome, because only God is awesome. How true that statement became to me that day. If He could make that, He can surely take care of us. He is the Great comforter who gives us peace and rest. Doing ministry is hard if we intend to do it well. But God is near. And He will provide a way. I hope you take great confidence in that today.
GM, 90.9 KCBI