September: Devotional

Lights, come out! Shine in the vast expanse of heavens’ sky dividing day from night to mark the seasons, days, and years. Lights, warm the earth with your light.

It happened just as God said. God fashioned the two great lights—the brighter to mark the course of day, the dimmer to mark the course of night—and the Divine needled night with the stars. God set them in heavens’ sky to cast warm light on the earth,  to rule over the day and night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that His new creation was beautiful and good.  Evening gave way to morning. That was day four.

- Genesis 1: 14-19, The Voice

This devotional is brought to us by Misty Elliott, a Leader in The Abbey.  You can read more of her beautiful words at and on Instagram @mistyaelliott

The first memory I have of staring at the moon comes from the window sill of my aunt’s living room where I sat perched, gazing intently at the full moon. Being seven years old, the questions flowing through my mind were serious ones: “Where is that man in the moon my Aunt talked about? I wonder if the people from Heaven sit on the moon to watch over us? And is the moon made of cheese?”

My father, whom I have personally deemed an expert in astronomy, has since informed me that the moon is in fact, not made from cheese. It is, however, made from the same minerals as the earth.

I have no idea why this memory has always stood out to me, but it was an early defining moment in my skywatching fascination.

Being a country girl from Oklahoma, I have often felt that God could not have gifted me a better view of his heavenly creations than in the wide open fields surrounding my home. Even now, as a grown woman, I continue to find myself daily in awe of the wonders of our sky.

When I wake, I look for the sunrise out my kitchen window while pouring my coffee. Just this morning, the sky contained beautiful hues of pink and orange with a small sliver of grey cloud running through the center. Come evening, it’s not uncommon to find me rushing out the door just to stand in the middle of our field to watch the sunset. At night, my Oklahoma sky typically contains a beaming moon with thousands upon thousands of shimmering stars. Each appearing to dance while illuminating a brilliant light in the darkness. 

The questions that arise for me as I gaze into the sky now have evolved a bit since being perched on my aunt’s windowsill many years ago. 

“God, if there are more stars, galaxies, moons, planets, and universes in this great space that you have created, more than my mind will ever be able to understand, what is their purpose?”

Even all these years later, the mystery of the magnitude of the skies continues to fascinate me.
I’ve only ever known one other person who possessed more knowledge of our Creator and His galaxies than my father – his momma. My grandma was a brilliant woman who loved God fiercely. Like myself, she was a writer and a dreamer of all the things she had yet to experience. She often dreamt that God would give her a personal tour of the stars on her way to his kingdom. Oh how I would love the chance to ask her questions now but I’m so fortunate that she has passed much of her wisdom on to her son.

My father recently shared one of my grandmother’s favorite sayings:
“What makes men so arrogant as to believe that God would have told us everything?” 
Grandma’s right, we don’t need all of the answers. I am, in fact, quite content just standing in awe of God’s wonders. Allowing the mysteries of the unknown to spark fascination within me. 

The beginning of awe is wonder, and the beginning of wisdom is awe.” -Abraham Heschel

We may not understand all of the scientific details of the universes, but we do know that our God is intentional. We know that we couldn’t survive without our sun’s heat and light; without it, our planet would only be an ice rock. God created the sun to give us life, to warm our seas and give energy to our plants that in return provide us with oxygen and nourishment. Meanwhile, our moon, is actually stabilizing our Earth’s rotation. The sun and moon perfectly compliment each other. One bringing light into our day and the other casting light into the darkness. 
Have you ever stood outside just to admire the sun set? 

I would love to share my view with you for a moment.

Inhale. Exhale. 

You’re standing in an open field. The dry grass may feel a little prickly under your bare feet but you don’t seem to mind. You are surrounded by white rock dirt roads and a seemingly endless supply of wheat fields. You feel small in this grand space but you sense that God is standing with you. In the horizon you notice that the sky is covered in cumulus clouds that take on the appearance of cotton candy, the type of clouds you envisioned God sitting on when you were a little girl. Just beneath this breathtaking scene are mountains –not grand mountains, but more of a mesa – large hills with a flat top, but beautiful nonetheless.

You know you only have a moment before the sun disappears behind the clouds but this moment feels substantial. You wait for the light to dim just enough so that you may now gaze upon its brilliance without needing to repeatedly close your eyes. 

It’s here. 

The moment has arrived and this sunset is awe inspiring.

Inhale. Exhale.

Notice the perfect symmetry of this grand star that brings warmth to our flesh. What colors do you see? I see multiple shades of pink and orange and the sky around it is an ocean blue. You breathe in this moment. You see God’s majesty. His skillful craftsmanship and think to yourself “this moment feels like it was made just for me.”

Then just like that, the clouds whisk away the moment and you are left with a sense of peace knowing that the Original Creator has a plan and purpose for everything. Including you.
Sweet friend, I pray you take comfort in God’s grand design. Even in the spaces of unknown in our lives, God has this systematic rhythm that is working for our good. He hand-painted beauty everywhere to fill our souls and designed everything to not only coexist but to work together.

Each part of creation complimenting another. 

You my friend, are a work of art. A carefully created masterpiece hand-sketched by the painter of the stars.