Blessing the Night


DARE: Go outside and count 100 stars. Then make an audacious wish on the brightest star.

I wrapped a wool poncho around my worn pajamas and stepped out onto my porch. The blustery night air cut through the seams of my clothes. “Let’s get this over with quickly,” I thought with a shiver. I looked up to count 100 stars. Nothing. The night sky was hidden by a thick blanket of clouds. My eyes strained for any faint glimmer of light. Still nothing.

I stood in the dark, aware of the cold, the vulnerability in the night, and slowly counted to 100, stars or no stars. I realized that I was counting memories of stars. I’ve looked up thousands of time and have seen stars. I knew they were there, even if I couldn’t see them on this particular night. It struck me that this is the essence of hope: standing in the darkness and cold and being able to count on the light that you can no longer see from your vantage point.

Just before Jesus was betrayed, he gave his disciples one last encouraging message. He knew life would be difficult for them (to say the least!) as they watched him betrayed and crucified and in the years to come. He left them with one important promise, “No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live” (John 14:18-19). He told them, “It will look like I’m gone, but I’m there. It will feel like I’ve abandoned you, but I won’t.”

Standing in the darkness reminded me that I even when I lose sight of the light, it still shines brightly. My audacious wish is to be a person of hope who relies not on what I see before me, but on the unchanging, eternal God who promised to be with me in every season. Jesus is there when I’m full of warm fuzzies and in the dark night of the soul. May I continue to store up truth in my heart as I read the Bible and practice remembering answered prayers, divine appointments, and countless blessings so that I will grow in my ability to see Jesus’ faithful presence in spite of clouds, storms, and darkness.

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