At regular intervals, and sometimes entirely by surprise, God paints the sky with impressive displays of his handiwork. While every night sky, sunrise, sunset, a sea of blue, or cloud formation reveals beauty, some of God’s artwork stuns me. A recent lunar eclipse reminded me of how God can and will disrupt the regular cycles He set in place in the beginning. The sun or moon can stand still or disappear for a moment. To witness unique artistry, all I have to do is look up into the sky and watch the Lord of the universe remind me of His power and might.
Have you ever noticed humans are designed to look skyward, unlike animals who primarily look down?
Watching the skies provides weather warnings, navigational information, and ways to track the passing of time. But do I get so caught up with my devices tethered below that I miss out on what God is showing me above?
On Ascension Day (Thursday, May 25, 2022, and the following Sunday), forty days after Easter, Jesus’ ministry on earth came full circle as God’s people were looking at the sky. When Jesus was born, there was a beckoning star guiding those who sought Him. The gospels explain that after leading his disciples out of Jerusalem to Bethany, He lifted his hands and blessed them. After that, he issued his final assignment, and then He was taken up into Heaven, leaving His followers looking skyward.
In Psalm 8, the psalmist is also looking at the heavens. Reading and praying through each verse provides some needed focus and encouragement in preparing my heart to remember the ascension.
1 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Psalm 8:1 ESV
Thank you, Lord, for your generosity in making your love writ large across the skies. You don’t want anyone to miss Your message. As I gaze upward, I am in awe of You.
2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. Psalm 8:2 ESV
Lord, I am amazed by how You use the mouths of those in our society (babies and infants) who might be dismissed because they are small or needy. Yet, their voices praise You, and You continue to send more babies to earth as blessings every day. While we as humans might believe we can control their arrivals, You make it clear that you specialize in the unexpected.
3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Psalm 8:3-4 ESV
Looking at the night sky and trying to count the stars is a way I can see how small I am and how vast the hand is of the one who painted those night skies must be. And yet, You hear my cries, and You respond to my requests.
5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. Psalm 8:5 ESV
Out of your grace, You gave me Jesus. He has walked on earth and had every struggle I might ever encounter.
6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, 7 all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, 8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. Psalm 8:6-8 ESV
Out of Your abundant generosity, You gave Jesus authority over everything. As a result, Jesus can transform my unruly heart. My limited understanding can be enhanced by Him and all my limitations. Yet, he knows and sees and loves me anyway.
9 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Psalm 9:9 ESV
Today, I look skyward and praise You for all You are, all You have done, and all You will continue to do. I am blessed when I look up. In Jesus’ name, Amen.