When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place—what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that your care for them? (Psalm 8:3-4 NIV)
In the third week of Advent, we focus on joy. To be honest, I am having a hard time with that right now. I am struggling with the social distancing rules, with how it has made my job harder (try doing Zoom school/therapies with special needs kids on top of doing nursing care in some form of Personal Protective Equipment), and I am still mourning the death of the plans I had for 2020, including Christmas time. Even my Bible study didn’t help—we ended on Genesis 19 (Sodom and Gomorrah) before the break. I am just not feeling so joyful right now.
So, I made that choice this past weekend—Sunday evening, to be exact—and went out of my way to try to find a place of “contentment and hope,” which I think is one of the definitions of joy. I settled on looking at all the pretty Christmas lights with friends, since you can maintain social distancing while still having fun. Redmond Lights this year is made up of an art installment with a giant color-changing heart in the center of it, and neighborhoods all over Redmond have rather good light shows and displays, some of which have been up since March to beat the “Covid blues.”
As I looked at each display, I was reminded of the verse above. Each of these Christmas light exhibits were carefully set into place for the enjoyment of others, to bring good cheer. How much more, then, has God made his own light display in the sky, set each in place in the cosmos as a reminder to me and to us that He is always mindful and caring of us all?
I do not pretend that one night of seeing cheerful Christmas lights would take my lamenting away; after all, God is a realistic God and understands all that I feel. But I do feel a little bit more hopeful and reminded that He remembers us, and that He has set everything in place. Where my own plans have failed due to things outside of my control, He is in control. And He is mindful of things. I guess my homework for the rest of the year is to seek joy. And, to remember that He remembers us all.