I stepped out one wintery night and looked up to the sky which was crisp and clear. I gasped out loud at the brightness of the stars and wondered why they were so vivid this particular night, even in the city? But it hit me that the stars are always like this and its just my surroundings that hide them. I went on with my walk, craning my head to catch glimpses of Orion between the houses and trees and I again became aware of how the city lights around me- cars, street lamps, flashing signs, even the beautiful Christmas lights strung across homes- were all the reasons why the vast beauty above me was veiled. In that moment I longed to be away from the pollution of the artificial lights- even the lovely colourful ones- to soak up the amazing night sky; To be some place quiet and dark; to see what is, and always is, there.
Maybe you know what’s coming next but I started thinking about the similarities between this picture of the heavenly bodies vs city lights and the picture of God’s glory vs the world’s version of glory and how we miss the one for the other.
His glory is always shining. The whole earth is filled with it remember? Sometimes we catch glimpses of it if we happen to “look up” but often it gets drowned out by the "artificial lights" we are surrounded by, that is, the world’s offerings of security and it's sparkling attractions.
I want to see all there is to see of my God and to do that it might mean dimming the lights I’ve grown accustomed to relying on. It's time to leave the safety of false comfort, things that keep me from experiencing life as God intended; that keep me from knowing Him. It's time to get accustomed to trusting that the Lord, my shepherd, is going to lead me with his pillars and I need nothing more in this current era of night. It is in his light that we see light. What light am I seeing by?
What artificial lights have polluted my view of the night sky? What am I trusting to light the road I travel? What things have kept me complacent at the expense of knowing my God’s presence and power? What things have I used to brighten the darkness?
While it is night and while we wait for dawn, for that day when His eternal glory will take the place of the sun and stars in the sky, let us be diligent in not settling for the mind-numbing, desensitizing lights of the world. Those things are passing away and they blind us to reality, the reality that there’s so much more. And our God is not hiding it from us. But we won’t ever find him if we don’t step out from the concrete and tangible and into the wild, wonderful unknown where he is, even if it means the discomfort of night and a temporary adjustment of our vision. It is time to trust Him again and in so doing, have our lives ruined for this world.