It was the darkest night I could remember. I pulled off a dirt road into a lonely field. For a long time, I had been trying to take a picture of the Milky Way. This seemed the perfect place. I sat in the car fiddling with my camera, and the darkness pressed in. When I turned off the doom light, it was if blackness seeped through the windows and threatened to suffocate me. I opened the door and set my tripod up by feel. As I did, my eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness.
Pinpricks of light began to shine in the sky above. Old friends – the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia – came into view. Red-tinged Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter marched above the horizon. Then I saw it. The billowing cloud of stars – the Milky Way – stretched from the edge of the earth to a point above my head. The longer I watched, the more I began to see, until, at last, I could see my feet by the light of the heavenly host. I took my pictures, but I didn’t want to leave. It was easy to pray and sense the presence of God.
Sensing the presence of God seems something rare these days. There are too many competing voices, too many distractions. It takes effort. The apostle told the Athenians:
And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us (Acts 17:26, 27).
If God “is actually not far from each one of us,” why don’t we sense His presence? Perhaps because we aren’t looking. Do you remember the lesson of Elijah in the cave (1 Kings ch. 19)? God wasn’t in the earthquake or the gale or the fire. God speaks in whispers. Tonight, take time to look up into the heavens and feel the presence of the Lord!