The fog curled in the valleys, softening the ridges and blotting out the tops of trees. I sighed, both delighted with the sight and disappointed in the heavy blanket of white. Our cabin was situated on the side of a hill in a valley, and I knew from experience that once the fog settled, it would probably be there until the morning sun chased it away. It had been a long time since I had been able to stare into the clear night sky in Potter County. Our cabin was only miles away from Cherry Springs State Park, renowned for being one of the best places on the eastern seaboard for stargazing and astronomy.
“Jesus,” I whispered softly. “I really wanted to see the stars tonight. Would You just blow the fog away for me? I know You can. But if You don’t, that’s OK too. I’m still loving the beauty of this weekend.”
I joined the others, knowing I would just have to wait until another night to delight in a clear sky.
About an hour later, Jay came over to me. He had just been out on the porch with the spotlight to check the deer feeder.
“The stars are out!” he said with a smile, knowing how much I loved them.
“What?!” I exclaimed, hardly daring to hope. “You’re serious?”
“Yup!” he replied.
I hurriedly slipped on my shoes and stepped outside. The air was damp, and the neighbor’s porch light shone feebly down the road. Droplets of moisture danced in the beam’s light as fog swirled around me. But, when I looked up, millions of stars twinkled above me.
(Photo credits: Jon Wood, taken at Cherry Springs State Park)
My jaw dropped. All around the cabin was fog. But above me? Clear as a bell. The Milky Way glowed, stretching from one mountain to the other. It was absolutely beautiful, and I felt tears spring to my eyes.
“You did it, Jesus!” I whispered in awe. “You blew the fog away just for me!”
I spent a long time out there in the chilly night, staring until my neck hurt. Even then, I could hardly pull myself away. “Can You show me a shooting star yet?” I whispered.
I waited a long time, but nothing happened. Just stars, twinkling in the inky expanse. Then, just before I turned to go inside, a bright shooting star arched perfectly before my eyes before disappearing.
Now, I know what you could be thinking. Chance. Or, give it enough time, of course you would see a shooting star. You could rationalize away the whole experience. Even I figured by the next morning, the fog would be gone.
We slept late. When I awoke, I grabbed a cup of coffee and stepped outside. Into the fog. All around and above me, the quiet mist hugged the valley, softening the noise of morning. No clear skies, just a thick fog. Soon the sun came peeking through, clearing out the tops, reaching down into the valley.
I shook my head in amazement. Why did I doubt God? Why did I doubt His love for me?
“You love to bless me,” I whispered. “You delight in it!”
Satan tried hard to steal my joy. He sent doubts thick and fast. So God can show you a little glimpse of the stars since you asked, but what about the big things? Why doesn’t He answer other prayers, more important ones? Why doesn’t He heal when we beg for it, or take away pain?
I don’t know. There’s a lot I don’t know about God. I don’t understand Him or the way He works. But I believe His Word is Truth. I believe the Bible when it tells me He loves me (1 John 4:19; Romans 5:8) and calls me His daughter (2 Corinthians 6:18). It also tells me His ways are higher than mine (Isaiah 55:8-9).
I can’t pick and choose what I want to believe about God. I either believe all His Word, or not at all.
And so when He answers a simple whispered prayer about stars, I revel in His Love for me. When my pleas go unanswered or seemingly ignored, I take refuge in the fact that He still loves me, even though it doesn’t make sense to me.
Jesus loves me. That Truth is sunken deeply into my heart. Not just because He answered my prayer. No, because the Bible tells me so. And I don’t want to forget that. It’s easy to remember when the fog blows away and I stare at glittering stars and all seems right in the world.
I want to remember it, even when the night is dark and the rain keeps falling, and things go wrong. Even when I stumble with disappointments and fear and an upside down life. Even when things don’t make sense, I can rest in the truth that Jesus loves me.
And that is enough.
Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God, for He is gracious and lovely; praise is becoming and appropriate…He determines and counts the number of stars; He calls them all by their names. Great is our Lord and of great power; His understanding is inexhaustible and boundless..The Lord takes pleasure in those reverently and worshipfully fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy and loving-kindness. Psalm 147: 1, 4-5, 11