Everyday Christmas #8: Number the Stars

One of the unanticipated benefits of having a dog is taking the dog for a walk. I knew he would need to walk, but I didn’t really think about how good it would feel to be outside more often.

We all take turns walking him, and I have been surprised at how cleansing and refreshing it is to regularly spend just a few minutes outside. The air is cold and fresh, and watching the seasons change in front of you as you get away from the busyness of the house for a few minutes is a great reset for your soul.

I’m usually the last one to take him out at night, and if the sky is clear, I can see thousands of stars scattered on a velvet background. I saw Orion tonight, the ancient hunter, one of the few constellations I actually know.

I look at those stars, and I think about how Abraham turned his gaze to the sky as God told him if he could number the stars flung across the heavens, he could number his descendants. Oh, and he had exactly zero children at the time.

Abraham had faith. Faith that God’s promise to him would come true when all evidence suggested otherwise. Faith to pack up and move his entire life to a land he knew nothing about. Faith to believe that from his children would come the Savior who would reckon that faith to him as righteousness.

Yes, his faith wavered at times, but doesn’t that ring true to your experience? That’s why it’s called faith – you believe even when it doesn’t seem true, even when you don’t feel like believing.

God’s covenant with Abraham wasn’t only for Abraham, but for all those descendants who would follow after him, heirs not just according to blood, but according to the promise God made that he would bless the world through his family – namely, through Jesus.

One of my favorite Rich Mullins lyrics says, “Sometimes I think of Abraham / how one star he saw had been lit for me.” That’s amazing. When I’m walking the dog and looking at the stars in the Kentucky sky, I’m connected, through promise and faith and a baby born in Bethlehem, to Abraham, who numbered the stars in the Canaan sky.

God sealed his promise to Abraham with a flaming torch passing between sacrificed animals. We won’t see a torch, but we can see the stars, and rejoice at God’s faithfulness through the ages.

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