He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.

Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit…

The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.

Psalm 147:4-5, 11

It was the first night of my birthday retreat, and I was determined not to let the cold keep me inside. After tightening my scarf, I turned off the lights and went out to the deck of my friend’s beach house. Wow!  How that many stars could fit into one night was beyond me, but there they were. I stared at them and they winked back. No wonder God was pleased with His creation.

As I leaned back in the lounge chair and gazed at the heavens, my thoughts began to unfold…

Father, I’m curious. Why do You care about naming each star? There are billions of them! Yet, if You consider their names to be important, how much more important WE must be to You! 

Another thing…Jesus promised to do whatever we ask in His name and for Your glory. I don’t want to insult You with trivial requests, but…as a birthday gift… might You send a shooting star tonight? Would that glorify You?

Within three minutes a star streaked across the ocean. (Call it a meteor, if you insist.)

OH FATHER! THANK YOU for answering my wish-prayer! How I PRAISE YOU!

The following night, clouds covered the sky. But not the third night.

Back to the deck under the starlit heavens, I continued pondering God’s personal interest in His universe and in His children…           

Father, would it displease You if I asked for one more shooting star? Would that be ungrateful or testing You? Or would it be childlike faith? If You see it as faith that honors You, would You kindly flick another star across the sky? But if I’m being totally egocentric, please forgive me.

I waited. And kept waiting. As the cold began to penetrate, so did a sense of my selfishness. Only hours before I had marveled at Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s prayer from a concentration camp. Such courage, depth, and commitment. And I—free, well-fed, surrounded by beauty—was praying for a shooting star?!

Nothing budged in the heavens and I wasn’t surprised. Getting up from the chair I stretched my frozen limbs and headed back to the house. Though God had denied my request this time, I still had to smile…

Father, thank you for Your love and understanding, even when I ask for things that are not Your will. You are in control of all—and how thankful I am that You are!           

Just above the roofline, a star shot east.

Only God’s grace and glory.

Heavenly Father, we worship You for Your control of the universe and for Your grace to us through Jesus. As we make it our goal to honor and delight You with our lives, help us remember that You delight in us when we place our hope in Your unfailing love. May this truth free us to approach your throne with increasing confidence and humility, joy and adoration.

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