Throughout history, stars have helped to guide us, whether we are slaves running towards freedom or sailors lost at sea. And while today's satellite technology may seem far more advanced and accurate than charting stars, I have been misguided by Google Maps an alarming number of times. (A few months ago my GPS directions dead-ended in a cul-de-sac next to a graffiti-ed road sign with an arrow pointing "to Narnia" through a grassy field.) While the stars may not physically guide us to our destinations anymore, they serve as a nightly reminder that God is a constant source of light and truth, always present in the darkness. Psalm 8:3-4 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?
On the next clear night, drive away from the nearest city and watch the stars multiply with every mile. I don't think it's a coincidence that the stars shine brighter away from the artificial light of highways and supermarkets, car dealerships and hair salons. When we leave behind these earthly landmarks, and spend time in creation, we are reminded that the light of God shines brighter than any fluorescent bulb ever could. Colossians 3:7 Set your eyes on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
I also don't think it's a coincidence that the stars shine brightest in the darkest part of the night. The stars could just as easily take a look around themselves and say the sky is so dark, there is no point in shining; I will be swallowed up by the dimness all around me. Instead, each star radiates tiny beams of light into the surrounding darkness and together, they illuminate the entire night sky. John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
Although the stars are suspended hundreds of miles above us, they have a tendency to keep us grounded. When looking up at the night sky, it is almost impossible not to think of the bigger picture of the world, our purpose, and the billions of other people staring up at the same specks of light. Our lives and daily struggles suddenly appear minuscule when compared to the cosmos. And while it is important to take some time to ponder our smallness, the stars also remind us that although we may seem irrelevant in the grand scheme of the world, God knows us fully, just as he knows the stars. Isaiah 40:26 Lift up your eyes on high and see: Who created these? He who brings out the host and numbers them, calling them by name; because he is great in strength, mighty in power, not one is missing.