Monday, February 8, 2010

Teachable Moment about God’s Presence

Last week we blogged about the fact that God is present in our lives whether you see Him or not. This past weekend I had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of a visual example of that very lesson. I was in Austin, Texas helping my daughter as she was working on some of the details for her upcoming wedding. Austin is a unique and wonderful place set right in the hill country of Texas, and we were staying at a place right outside the city.

Friday night we enjoyed a truly magnificent display of stars in the clear night sky. Now in Dallas we just don’t have the opportunity to see the stars shine with the same sort of splendor because the bright city lights drown out the ability to see their brilliance. But Friday night in Austin I was completely taken by the majesty of the star-filled sky. Yes, it is true that the stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas!

I was reminded of David’s declaration in Psalm 19:
The heavens declare the glory of God;
The skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech ;
Night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
Their words to the ends of the world.

Think about it - no matter where we go, the night sky is always filled with bright and beautiful stars, but we can’t always see their splendor. Sadly the city lights dim our view. This was a teachable moment for me. God used the stars to remind me that He is always there, but the distractions of life often distort my view. It made me consider what is it in my life that distracts my view of seeing the beautiful work God is doing. I think it is all too easy to forget God’s great love for us and His good purpose for our lives. Sometimes we don’t see the loving way He cares for us because we are blinded by our busyness or consumed with our agendas. We may have hurt or unforgiveness that is clouding our view of His work.

If we want to see the stars, we need to get away from the city lights, and if I want to see the work of God more clearly, we may need to distance ourselves from sin and the things that tend to dim our view of God. Most importantly, if we want to see the stars, we need to look up. In the same way we need to turn our eyes upward to look to Him through prayer and reading His word.

Next time you have the opportunity to see the bright stars of the night sky, use it as a teachable moment with your kids to remind them of God’s continual presence. Talk about some of the things that seem to distract us from seeing His loving hand (anger, sin, consumed with ________). Don’t forget to also talk about those things that help us see Him more clearly, like reading and studying God’s word.

"Oh Lord, help us to see you more clearly. Help us to recognize those things that distract us and dim our view of your kind and gracious love. Strengthen our focus so we see your majesty and your ever present beauty in our lives."