Last week, an acquaintance who grew up in Shanghai, China shared a most fascinating piece of information: he had NEVER seen more than 4 stars together in the sky when he was growing up! He would look in books as a child and wonder why there were so many stars in the books, but not in the sky. It was only when he started to travel out of the city that he started to see what the light pollution in Shanghai had prevented him from seeing – LOTS of STARS, as numerous as they had appeared in books.
I wonder how many of us have grown up in situations that clouded the goodness of God from our view. I wonder how many of us are currently in situations where we just can’t see the overwhelming goodness of God, even though we read of it in the Bible. We look at our Bibles and we look at our circumstances and wonder why there is so much goodness in the Word, and barely enough for us to get by in our day-to-day experience of life.
How did Jesus heal ALL the sick who came to Him, and yet you are still not healed? How did He miraculously provide for those who were in need and yet you are pressed on every side with no sign of provision in sight? How did He set the captives free and yet you feel bound beyond any hope of liberation? Something just doesn’t add up: there are numerous stars in the Book but not more than 4 in the sky.
You could decide that the book is lying. Or perhaps the book is just a little exaggerated, I mean we wouldn’t want to admit that we don’t REALLY believe the Bible now, would we?
But I have a different idea: we could follow God ‘out of the city’, out of what we have always known. We could follow him far away from the light pollution, removed from the toxicity in the world and our circumstances that has clouded our ability to SEE His goodness. We could follow Him to the place where He is taking us, where He is just as good for US as the Book says He is, where our perception of our situation changes and we see it the way He sees it, to the place where we are healed and delivered, provided for and even catered to, to the place we leap and soar in freedom.
Our circumstances do not change the goodness of God. It is not a lie just because you have not experienced it. There really are more than 4 stars in the sky, even if you have never seen them. I would not modify the Bible to fit my circumstances – instead, I will continue to believe the Bible as it is until it becomes the reality of my experience!
My question to you is will you follow God ‘out of town’ so you can see His goodness, or will you stay where you are and manage your misery?
[Header Image: The Odyssey Online]