By Curtis K. Shelburne
My youngest son, our fourth, was recently able (because of the blessing of a generous gift) to join two of his brothers in Uganda. He plans to stay for at least several months. Having helped get an AIDS orphan relief program there rolling, No. 1 son will be coming home soon to be married. (Ah, I love having girls in the family! What a concept!)
No. 3 son is planning to stay and continue growing that program and helping on the mission “as long as I’m welcome” and the Lord keeps that door open. No. 2 son and his wife (Did I mention how much I love our girls?) are finishing student teaching right here in the great state of Texas on this very continent. These days, you need a program to figure out which of our four sons are on U.S. soil, which are getting married, and what’s happening next week. But we’re thankful.
In the midst of all the busy-ness, I hope I remembered to encourage Josh to spend some time in Africa checking out the sky of the southern hemisphere.
It strikes me as a shame that, even in this hemisphere, we don’t spend much time looking up anymore. It’s healthy to simply take a little time occasionally to step outside and focus heavenward.
Looking up reminds us that we are not the center of the universe, and that lots of really important things happen without our making them happen.
Looking up reminds us that somebody created and sustains the heavens without any help or counsel at all from us. Someone far bigger than we are “determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name” (Psalm 147:4).
Looking up reminds me that the God who keeps this globe spinning and whirling through space and spreads the times and seasons of our lives before us also is the God who “spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost-like ashes” (Psalm 104:16).
Looking up reminds us that, though God has prepared good works for us to do, the most important things that need to be done are not things we can do, but things we have to trust the creator of the universe to do or graciously give us the power to do. We are dust. God is the one who flung the stars across the sky and who will sustain them.
Looking up reminds me that many more important things are happening today than those I have listed on my calendar.
Looking up reminds me how amazing it is that the God who is big enough to weigh “the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance,” the great shepherd of even the constellations who “brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name” is also the God who lovingly calls my name and invites me to bring all my cares before him (Isaiah 40).
No wonder Isaiah exhorts us, “Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens” (40:26).