In the past two weeks, we have twice looked to the skies. The first time, we watched in wonder at the solar eclipse, observing a rare cosmic choreography in the blue skies above us. The second time, we looked upward in distress at the unwelcome clouds that signaled Harvey’s arrival.
Two skies that obscured the sun. In one case we could see the moon physically blocking the sun - standing in its way and turning down the volume on the sun’s light and heat. In the case of Harvey, a dark curtain of clouds swirled above us. The sun was hidden behind it, and we were not able to feel its warmth or see its light.
Two skies that made us feel small. The eclipse made us uncharacteristically aware of our planet’s motion in the cosmos, highlighting the fact that there are things much bigger than us happening in the quiet expanse of space. The hurricane made us feel small because we were powerless to stop its relentless rain.
We don’t think about the sun very often. Most days we’re aware of it because we feel its heat and measure time by its light: sunrise, noon, sunset. But we don’t really think about the sun itself.
On cloudy days or at the end of a long winter, we become more aware of the sun’s absence and long for its warmth and light. We think about the sun a little more than usual.
On rare occasions (like our eclipse) we pay direct attention to the sun.
Regardless of our ability to see the sun or willingness to notice it, the sun has not changed. It is there, moving through our galaxy, its gravity governing our solar system. It burns with the same heat and shines with the same luminosity. It has not changed.
As the sun is constant, so is our God.
In seasons of life when we don’t think much about him, he is there.
In seasons of life when we long for God because dark clouds of suffering have gathered and it’s hard to see him, he is there.
In seasons of life when we are close to him – looking directly to him for strength and guidance – he is there.
In times of trouble, when we are tempted to view God as distant, apathetic, or uninvolved, we must remind ourselves that God has not changed. Our circumstances may have changed. Our feelings may have changed. God has not.
God is powerful. God is present. Good is good. God is trustworthy. God is love. He is who he is (Exodus 3:14), and he does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17). Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He is the light of the world – whoever follows him will never walk in darkness but have the light of life (John 8:12). His love endures forever, as the Psalmist wrote:
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever. to him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever. who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever. who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever. who made the great lights-- His love endures forever. the sun to govern the day, His love endures forever. the moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever. (Psalm 136:1-9)
However the skies of our lives happen to look – God is always there, and he loves us. We are not small to him.
As the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:38-39: I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.