In the country, a hot and dark summer night is a beauty to behold. Without the lights of the city, the billions upon billions of stars shine bright and clear.

It was such a treat growing up to behold such a wonder that as soon as we (my twin, my little brothers and numerous cousins) could, we would rush outside when it got dark to sit on my Grandmother Roberta’s porch swing to stare at the gift of lights that God splashed in the night sky just for us.

The Bible says that stars, along with the sun and moon, were given for “signs” and “seasons” (Genesis 1:14); that is, they were meant to mark time for us. They are also “signs” in the sense of navigational “indicators,” and all through history men have used the stars to chart their courses around the globe.

Now, we use calendars, clocks, GPS and cell phones to mark time for us. We have lost touch with the gifts that God placed in the night sky for us. Instead of gazing at the natural night light that adorns the hot summer night, we are so busy trying to catch up on our favorite TV show or reading our e-mails.

We are so busy giving away our time, our resources and our energy to the cares of this world that we do not take time to RECEIVE. By changing our routine and taking time out to “be still” in the presence of God and taking in the awe-inspiring view of the stars, we receive God’s gift of time back as we look at the stars and renew our spirit and refresh our souls.

How do we refresh our souls? By looking at another star — the Bright Morning Star — Jesus. For thousands of years seafarers and travelers looked to the stars for reference and guide points to get them to where they need to go. When we need direction we look to Jesus. When we do not know where to go we sing, “Lead Me, Guide Me Along the Way.”

The Bright Morning star represents the promise of a new day, it indicates that something better is coming. When we stop and take in the splash of God-given light we realize that when we have lost our hope and we think that our night is going to last forever, that the Bright Morning Star is just over the horizon and will wash out our despair and give us a fresh new start.

Look to the stars to renew, refresh and revive.

The Rev. Tonya Boyce is the executive director of Eternal Grace Ministries of Pine Bluff.

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