Number of the Stars

When I was a girl I read a great book called Number of the Stars by Lois Lowry.  I always liked it and read it several times.  I haven’t read it in years.  It’s about a girl whose best friend was a Jew.  She and her family helped this friend and her family escape from the Nazis.

I don’t remember if it states at all why the book is called Number of the Stars. But, I was reminded of this the other day during my quiet time.  I’m doing a study called: Walking in God’s Promises by Elizabeth George.  It is a “character study of Sarah.”  Since Sarah is married to Abraham, it is a study of both of their lives.  And God said to Abraham that he would become a great nation.  Abraham didn’t understand as he and Sarah had no children, and so he asked God for something tangible. God brought him out under the heavens and instructed him to look up and see all the stars.  God then told Abraham that his decedents would be more numerous than the stars!  That’s a great picture of how many decedents would come from Abraham.  Reading the Bible, we see that Abraham’s son was Isaac.  Isaac’s son Jacob was later called Israel by God. (Genesis 15:1-5, Genesis 21:1-3, Genesis 32:28).  Therefore, Abrahams descendants are the Israelites, or the Jews.  The Jewish race is more numerous than the stars, and it all started with this promise to Abraham! Perhaps, that’s why this book was titled as such, as the Jews were in danger during the days of Hitler, and this one Jewish girl and her family escaped.  Their (fictional but based off of reality) family line endured, and the Jewish race (more numerous than the stars) has never been eradicated.  It can’t be.  God promised Abraham.

When I was a little girl I also loved something else.  I loved our big front yard in the country.  I loved looking up at all the stars.  My mom got me a book on constellations.  I was no good at finding most of the stars.  But the Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Cassiopeia, Orion with his belt, and the North Star were all fascinating to me.  I could find those all the time.  I miss the beauty of the vast night sky now that I live in the city.

I got to thinking the other night, as I was looking at the portion of sky that I can see, about God’s promise to Abraham and the Jewish race.  Then I was reminded of a verse I’d memorized in an especially dry and lonely season of singleness.  In a season when I felt God had forgotten me and my desire for a husband. It goes like this:

To whom then will you liken Me that I would be his equal? says the Holy One.

Lift your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing.

Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the Lord,’ … Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary.

As briefly mentioned in my previous post, I and my husband are in a season of weary waiting.  What is next?  Are we on the right path?  My job is fine, but exhausting in ways I never considered it would be.  I come home from work more often than not drained.  My husband and I ask God over and over for wisdom and help in this season.  We are feeling weary.  And honestly, that same feeling of “forgotten by God” sometimes likes to creep back in.  Just like Jacob (Israel) we assume “our way is hidden from God!”  And it frustrates us!

But, then my mind runs to my Bible study — walking in God’s promises.  God promised Abraham a child, a child that would have children, who would have children, and all of them would be known to God (even though they as a nation are more numerous than the stars!).  God knows each person of the Jewish race, and each person in general — even the number of hairs on each person’s head! (Psalms 39 assures me of this).  And in this passage I just quoted (Isaiah 40:25-29), God knows the names of each star!  Not only that, but because of who God is, not one star is missing!

I have to be awed over this.  Have to be.  I can not help it.  In the midst of my life season, I have to cling to who God is.  In the short passage of Isaiah I just quoted He is named: Holy One, the Lord, Everlasting God, and Creator of the ends of the earth.  He knows the number and names and placement of the stars.  He was able to promise Abraham a future of generations more numerous than the stars.  He knows the number of hairs on my and my husband’s head (and I just lost several this morning with a good brushing — He knows!).

Thus, I can not say that “my way is hidden from the Lord.”  I do though. I complain to God, forgetting this.  In his great mercy and patience, He forgives this in me, and brings me back again and again to His Word and the truth of His promises, His faithfulness, and His might and power over my life.

Dear Sister in Christ, are you also in a weary season of life?  God knows your name, the number of hairs on your head, and where you are!  He knows all this about the stars, and we as women made in His image have a much greater value to Him!  We can rest in this promise of God.  Our way is not hidden to Him. He is the Lord, and He knows.

Press on, dear woman!  God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob… and of you and of me!  How encouraging is that!  Our God is faithful to each promise He makes, and because of His power and might, not one star is missing!  Never forget that!  And if you need a reminder of this amazing God … walk on outside tonight and look up!


One thought on “Number of the Stars

  1. Thanks Mary Ann! I really needed to hear this today. We are with you on the weary waiting and will pray your path becomes clear.

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