Jars, Fireflies, and Stars With Baby Names

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She told me, “It feels like all of my darkest moments were put in a jar, and lit.” I thought about how in this moment, she is watching her new son sleep. It has been a whirlwind of days, rushing to pick up this brand new boy across the state who has been named THEIRS. A gift from another. They finally arrive home with their tiny bundle, late at night, under a starry sky- thrilled and exhausted, to a house filled with more gifts. All the things a new baby requires. A quiet celebration. And I imagine how their hearts burst with love and joy and deepest gratitude for the community of believers who have walked with them, arm in arm through times of hope, grief, desperation, anger, and sadness.

darkest moments in a jar.

It makes me think of how that jar is like an empty womb. And how she must’ve pleaded to God and maybe she felt that God wasn’t even listening. It reminds me of when doubt has crept in my life. Wondering if God is even there, and if He is there, then He must be full of hatred for me. Shrouded and aloof. The unanswered pleadings. The long silence. They feel dark and cold. Like an empty jar.

She said but now, it is lit. By Divine hands. It makes me think of glowing fireflies in a mason jar and how they remind me of all the stars on a cloudless night and how that reminds me of God’s promise to Abraham.

And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” (Genesis 15:5 ESV)

How Abraham laughed. How later Sarah’s laugh was tinged with bitterness. Years pass childless. She had come to terms with that, and the tears had dried up. How should it be? Time has gone.

God promised, and He gave them a son.

I look at the stars and see promise. A fertile cosmos. I imagine how many more stars Abraham was able to see on that night than I am now, with the world lit up. Gazing upward, I am wonderstruck by God’s secret promises. He hears the face-down prayers soaked in tears and heartache.

He heals the brokenhearted

and binds up their wounds.

He determines the number of the stars;

he gives to all of them their names. (Psalm 147:3, 4 ESV)

God takes the darkness out of our worn and trembling hands, places it in that empty jar, and watches with you as it turns into light. Like fireflies. Like the stars. Like promises that have baby names. Like watching a newborn sleep, and breathe slow and steady. Wrapped in gifts. Wrapped in love. Like new parents wrapped in a loving Abba’s embrace. So shall it be.

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