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One day, we will all look up

By Dr. Thurman R. Hayes Jr.

Last Monday afternoon one of nature’s most phenomenal displays was taking place across the country. Only a limited number of Americans were in the “total eclipse” zone, but most of us at least paused to take in what was going on. It is about the only time when that many people are gazing up.

Why does it take an eclipse for us to look up at the heavens?

Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”

There is glory all around us, day and night, 365 days a year. It’s just that many of us are too busy to notice.

One who did notice was C.S. Lewis. During World War II, the Oxford University professor wrote a series of letters to his brother. His descriptions of nature reveal a person who was attuned to displays of the Creator’s brilliance all around him.

For instance, on a normal Tuesday morning, during his walk, Lewis wrote that he “enjoyed very much the effects of a clear still morning: Sky of pigeon-grey, pearl grey, and, eastward, pale butter color verging on cream.”

One evening, he took a walk and reported, “I thought I had never seen this place more beautiful. Just behind me a moon, the colour of a harvest moon, was rising … An absolute enchantment.”

These are the normal displays that God puts on every day and night. Too many of us have our faces buried in a phone or a TV set to notice. Pause. Take a walk. Look up.

Start glancing at your problems, and start gazing at God. Things will look a lot different. I promise.

David said in Psalm 27:4, “One thing I have asked of the Lord, that will I seek after … to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.”

When we gaze at God and his majestic creation, we attune ourselves to his power. Power that created the stars and planets, and therefore can handle anything we face. Trust me, your challenges are not intimidating to the God who hung the moon and sun and stars and planets in their places. They are not too big for him.

Furthermore, we need to be reminded of his love. That’s right. This majestic, sovereign God who hung the heavens came down from heaven to reveal his love for us. In fact, he became one of us.

Theologian Fleming Rutledge observed that there is a problem with the old phrase, “God is in his heaven, all’s right with the world.” To this she says, “No, all is NOT right with the world — but God has come from heaven to us — our great hope.”

Amen! God “became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Jesus, God in human flesh, came and lived among us. He came to our broken world, to broken sinners like us. He left the glory that he had enjoyed at the Father’s side from all eternity, to become one of us.

He came to heal our brokenness by being broken for us, on a cross. He rose, and one day every eye will look up and gaze at his return.

Dr. Thurman R. Hayes is senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Suffolk. Follow him on Twitter at @ThurmanHayesJr.