Today was a very special day in America. We were blessed with a unique opportunity to experience a solar eclipse. While our family back in the Midwest marveled at 100% totality, we enjoyed about 76% here in Texas.
JB secured a pair of the approved viewing glasses and I made a pinhole camera similar to the one I remember making as a child. We used both methods for viewing the eclipse from our backyard. It was pretty cool to watch the moon inch across the sun right above Wild Blue Yonder.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. ~ Psalm 19:1
The sunlight diminished a bit and the temperature was comfortable, but we didn’t see any stars or hear the cicadas. Our outdoor lights didn’t come on like they did for those in the optimum viewing path, but we still reveled in our experience as we sat on our back porch.
All across America, people were having similar experiences. As the eclipse made its way from sea to shining sea, Americans were united in awe and enjoyment for a few minutes today. I’m so thankful for the peaceful excitement the Great American Eclipse brought to our country.
Frankly…in my opinion…we needed it.
Isn’t God just cool? He knew it…long before these days of division enveloped us. He always knows just what we need and today He gave us a moment in time to come together and look to the Heavens in pure wonder.
Thank you, Jesus, for loving us even when we struggle to be loving to each other.
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name. ~ Isaiah 40:26
Wouldn’t it be glorious if we could keep the feeling of amazement we shared today and block out all the heartache going on in this world?
Oh how I wish we could, but ugliness doesn’t go away. Mommas still get cancer, people still fight on the internet, terrorism is real, politicians still disappoint us, extremists still hurt others, and babies are legally aborted every single day. Great suffering continues in our world. A breathtaking moment doesn’t take those horrors away.
Clearly we can’t pretend everything is all beauty and love when we know it isn’t. We also can’t live in a constant state of fear, sadness, and anger either.
So what do we do during times like these?
I love this advice from the Apostle Paul to the people of Philipi:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. ~Philippians 4:4-9
So while I can’t hide out on my back porch all day ignoring the heartaches of this world, I can choose what I think about as I go about my day. It’s up to me how I react to others. It’s on me to put good into practice. I need to be the good in this world.
Instead of worrying and wallowing in the problems of the day, I can spend my time marveling over the excellent and praiseworthy events that come along. I can focus on the many blessings of thanksgiving our family has enjoyed over this past year. I can pray God will take care of the problems of the day.
Additionally, I can trust God to envelop me in the peace which transcends all understanding, guarding my heart and my mind in Him.
So I am going to look at all of the beautiful pictures people have posted. I’m going to watch their videos and read their stories. I am going to meditate on this amazing gift of God’s handiwork that He gave to America on this day. It brings me peace.
Tomorrow, I’m going to keep today’s beautiful experience in mind as I go out to be the good in my little part of America.