A little while ago I had a pretty cool experience. It was late on a Wednesday night and I had finished cleaning up after our high school youth group. I came home, and as I got out of my car I realized that it was still pretty warm outside. The summer days can get rather humid here in Iowa so the nights can stay warmer than I’d often like.
In a contemplative mood, I debated a thought for a while as I came inside to my dark house (Sara had already gone to bed). Sitting in my back porch for some time, I decided to go for it. So at about midnight on a weeknight, I opened up my garage door and started my motorcycle.
In pursuit of the elusive goal of physical fitness, I’ve been trying to ride my mountain bike a lot and I’ve created a 12-mile square that I like to ride. In Iowa, bike routes are squares, not loops.
This square quickly takes me out of town to the Northeast. At the furthest point from my house, I pulled off the deserted road to an even more deserted dirt road. Taking my helmet off and letting my eyes adjust, I was amazed by what I saw.
I knew that there would be less light pollution than in town, and I knew that it was a clear night so I expected to see many stars. I was correct in that assumption. The Milky Way could be seen rending the night sky above me. However, I was thrown for a loop because I appeared to be seeing constellations above and below the horizon!
I’ve seen fireflies before. Even though I was raised in California I’ve lived in the East Coast where fireflies are a dime a dozen. Tonight was different, though. Surrounded by corn and soybean fields, I was able to see for miles in every direction. Because of this, I was able to see thousands of fireflies all around me. Just as one would cease to glow, three more would light up around it.
The effect was astounding. My entire world was twinkling, like I was an astronaut floating in space. I saw twinkling lights all around me – up, down, left, and right. With the numerous stars in the sky and the countless lightning bugs in the fields, I was awestruck.
Awe became wonder and wonder faded into humility until humility gave way to conviction.
I stood alone in the middle of an empty field at 12:30am, surrounded by insects and constellations.
And I was convicted.
All I could think about was the description of God in Revelation 1 that says he holds seven stars in his right hand or Job 38 that says God can bind the beautiful Pleiades and loose the cord of Orion. And at the same time God has power over all things in creation.
Now I know all this. I have for a long time. We’ve all grown up and learned about the creation account in Genesis. Yeah, yeah, God created everything. God knows how many people and bugs and stars exist. But that night I experienced it.
And I was convicted.
So often I forget how powerful God is. So often I try to do everything on my own strength. So often I forget that God wants to do incredible things with his people. So often I forget his promise in James 5:16-18 that says the prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective. The same God that created all I saw around me that night wants to manifest himself in my life, and in your life.
And even still I find it hard to pray on a regular basis. I doubt that God will really answer my prayers or do something great in my life.
Why is that?
What holds us back in fully trusting God? Why is it hard for us to take God at his word? What can we do to act upon his promises?
Leave a comment about your own experiences with God’s power and love, and with prayer. What roadblocks do you encounter when trying to trust God? Have you found anything to help you more fully trust his promises?