LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. 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 8:1-4
A few weeks ago, I awoke to my alarm at 1:45 am Eastern time. I quietly put on my sweats and crept outside into our backyard. It was December 21st, the night of the Winter Solstice and a lunar eclipse. I was surprised to see that a few of my neighbors were also outside howling at the moon with me.
There in the freezing cold, I witnessed the moon slowly disappear behind the earth’s shadow, and then gradually reappear. Laying on the porch swing looking up at this natural wonder, I thought about how God created everything in the universe to work perfectly and to sustain living things. I wondered if the pastor on call was getting any crazy phone calls. I thought about men, women and children out in the freezing cold night after night due to homelessness. I was cold, but I was going back to my warm bed in 45 minutes.
The next morning, I faced a change of plans. Rather than getting ready to head downtown to my favorite coffee shop to write devotionals, I had to call the pediatric surgeons office instead. My oldest son, Sam, had food stuck in his esophagus. We thought we had resolved the problem. But, he hadn’t kept anything down for two days, and he was starving.
We ended up spending most of the day at the hospital waiting for surgery. Television and playstation were a big help in all of the waiting. A kind nurse named Candy took care of us. My suspicion is that she wasn’t just kind to us because I am one of her pastors. I think she’s kind to every patient.
The day ended with a successful hotdog-ectomy. My son and I were both thankful to have spent the day together, although there are less painful and much less expensive ways of doing that. We were thankful that we had avoided surgery for almost six years. We were thankful for kind and skillful surgeons who took care of my boy on the 17th surgery in his young life.
The God who created a universe where three heavenly bodies can align in such a way that the smallest, the moon, seems to disappear is also the same God who cares about a piece of hotdog stuck in a little boy’s esophagus. For a God who created all of the universe, what are humans by comparison? A band from my birthplace sings that “all we are is dust in the wind.” We are certainly made from dust. (Psalm 103:14) In fact, we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). But, we weren’t made merely to exist. We were made for relationship with God and with each other. We were made to fulfill God’s purpose on this earth. I find that to be truly remarkable.
What are you thankful for today? What can you praise God for? Maybe you’re thankful for not being dumb enough to get up in the middle of the night to watch the moon in the freezing cold.
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