Stephanie Ehmke, MA, LPC
Stand in Awe
“He brings out the stars by number; he calls all of them by name. Because of his great power and strength, not one of them is missing.” Isaiah 40:26 (CSB)
When was the last time you stood outside and gazed up at the night sky in awe? If it’s been a while, as it has been for me, take a moment to close your eyes and try to remember. Can you see it? What was the moment like? What did you feel? Many years ago my husband and I took a late-night boat ride on Table Rock Lake in Branson, MO during a meteor shower. We floated into a dark cove, dropped anchor, and laid down on the floor. With the exception of our red and green safety sidelights, it was completely black around us. I have never witnessed the stars so vividly! Most of my life I’ve been in some vicinity of a city with lights that paled the night sky and the brilliancy of its stars. This night was different. Every star, no matter the size, was dazzling. The meteor shower on top of it was spectacular, as the lights flashed across the sky in blazes of glory. It was breathtaking. As I think back to that night, I am keenly aware of how small and insignificant I was in the order of things. God’s amazing creation was functioning in all its splendor around me. The lake below teeming with aquatic life, the stars above dancing, the wind swirling all around us, and there we were just floating, doing nothing to add to the moment in any way. Reflecting on that evening, I am aware that even if we hadn’t been there, creation would still have done its majestic dance, for its Creator was watching. In fact, according to the above verse in Isaiah 40, not only was God watching, but he also knew every star by name. The little kid inside of me just chuckled, wondering what he named them. Are they normal names like Ben, Betty, or Brad? Or, are they creative names beyond my comprehension? And if this is the case, what about the fish that were floating beneath us that night, did he name them too? God is so fascinating! His creativity is unparalleled, but what stops me in my tracks leaving me speechless and in awe is how personal he is with his creation. To craft this world with such intricate detail is more than enough to show his tender care, but is there anything more intimate than whispering a name over someone or something? Think about it. What special name have you given your spouse, child, car, or pet? We name what is special to us and in this way reveal our unique quality as image-bearers of God. Nature has a way of reminding us as human beings how truly small and insignificant we are, and yet when I reflect on that night floating on the water, gazing up at the sky, those aren’t words I would use to describe myself. God has given me a different perspective now as I think about that night in light of Isaiah 40:26. Now when I think about it, I close my eyes and try to see myself from up above. It’s like one of those scenes where a rocket takes off into space and you see the earth getting smaller and smaller behind it. There I am floating in this tiny boat, becoming more and more of a spec the further away the gaze gets, and yet I never disappear… never. There is a sightline still directly on me no matter how far the view pans out, but there is more. There is God’s voice echoing out above it all whispering, “Steph. I see you. From up here you are pretty small but hear me, you are not insignificant and I want to remind you that I always know exactly where you are, and like my shining stars, I know your name.” Let this thought sink in over you today. Wherever you find yourself, God sees you and knows your name. You are never hidden from his sight. If he took the time to name each of the stars and put them in place, his eye hasn’t left you the pinnacle of his creation. Believe it.
For Your Reflection… God knows your name and he sees you. Sometimes this is comforting and sometimes it’s hard to believe. Wherever you find yourself, I encourage you to ask him for faith to boldly believe this.