Lamentations 3: 22-3: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness, O Lord of Hosts. (This scripture is the basis for the hymn, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”)
I don’t know if you worried a lot when you were younger. I know I did—and I worried about everything. I worried when I had trouble going to sleep, and I worried if I slept too long , thinking that both of these meant I had some sort of hidden disease and was not long for this world. To give me more to worry about, my third-grade Sunday School teacher made a vivid impression on me with the story of Passover. I carefully noted that the Angel of Death came for the firstborn son in each household, and guess who that was? As a result, I spent a number of sleepless nights watching for any suspicious figures that might resemble a death dealing angel sent for me. I’m not sure what I thought I would do if one did come, since Angels of Death are, after all, deadly, but eventually I got over this fear and went on to other ones.
I think the concern I kept going the longest had to do with the sun. I was certain it would burn out any minute, leaving us all to experience life as big human Popsicles. I was inspired in this by a set of encyclopedias my family bought so I could learn to think and not be irrational or superstitious. The article on the sun included an engraving of a meadow with sheep in it after the sun had fizzled out. The most horrible detail to my mind were icicles hanging from the sides of the poor sheep. What a horror! Of course, I could have read the article and found out that the sun will likely last for another five billion years, but I’m sure I would have used any extra time I had to worry about other things.
I eventually calmed down over the years, largely because of the nature of God that is the point of this consideration. The Bible tells us God is faithful, not in a few selected cases, but everywhere, all the time to everyone. God sends the rain and sun not just to those who deserve it, but to everyone. And those gifts continue: in the words of the scripture, “his compassions fail not.” And the hymn, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” observes,
Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
God’s love is in nature and throughout the universe, extending to the stars and beyond the reaches of the universe, keeping those vast nuclear fusion furnaces that we call stars burning.
All we have to do is accept this omniscient and ever present God who offers us mercy, forgiveness and love, and all we have to do is accept it through acknowledging Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. May those of us who have done so rejoice, and may we be led by our experiences to bring others to an understanding of the God who keeps the stars in their heavens. Amen.