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Tinsley: Lift up your eyes to the stars

Bill Tinsley
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Bill Tinsley

I normally begin my day outdoors, where I spend time in prayer. When winter drops the temps and the sun rises late, I bundle up and find my place on our back deck, under the stars.

Our deck is on the south side of the house. Orion and Taurus greet me in the winter sky, easily distinguished among the lesser lights. They have always been there, occupying their same place in the sky since time immemorial.

These are the same stars Abraham saw when he left Ur of the Chaldees. The same stars that guided Moses in the wilderness. The same stars David watched when he shepherded sheep. The same stars the Magi studied when they found a star in the east that led them to Bethlehem. When I look at the stars, I feel connected to the entire universe, no longer limited by time and space. In my fleeting moment on earth, I am part of all that has gone before and all that will yet come.

They are a stabilizing force. Nothing we can do on earth will change them. The nearest star is approximately 25 trillion miles away, or 4.24 light-years. When the dust has settled from the presidential election and the pandemic has passed, the stars will remain in their place as they have done through every plague, every war, every natural disaster and every lifetime. They are a constant, silent and brilliant testimony to God's majesty.

The Bible has a lot to say about the stars: "When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them? Human beings that you care for them?" (Psalm 8:3-4, NIV).

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit" (Psalm 147:3-5).

"Praise him sun and moon; praise him all you shining stars. Praise him highest heavens, and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created and he established them forever and ever" (Psalm 148:3-6).

"'To whom then shall you compare me? Or who is my equal?' says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. ... Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak" (Isaiah 40:25-26).

The stars have a way of putting things in perspective.

Bill Tinsley reflects on current events and life experience from a faith perspective. His books are available at www.tinsleycenter.com. Email bill@tinsleycenter.com