Stars and Sand



Descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

Hebrews 11:12

God made a promise to his friend Abraham. Though he was old, his wife unable to conceive, he would father the nation of God’s people. Abraham, whose descendants are “as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore” held onto the unlikely promise.

Faith. I suppose the key idea is holding on.

Even today, God may seem distant, his promise a faint memory. But faith holds on to the promise of our Friend.

Sometimes faith means remembering, when everything inside you and around you screams for attention and will most certainly distract you and drown out the voice of memory and cloud your vision of the better things God has promised.

So do this: On a clear night, go out and find a place where there is no light pollution. Look up and start counting stars. You are linked to the promise, the promise God made to Abraham. You are an heir to that promise by faith. You are one of those stars. But what is one star among so many?

It is a flame of promise and potential known by an infinite and omniscient God.

Take a pilgrimage, in your imagination if not in reality. Make your way to the coast. Stand at the shoreline. Look out at the vast immeasurable stretch of ocean. And look down at your feet and all around you. Stoop down and fill your fist with sand. Let the grains filter through your fingers. But hold one. Look at it. Keep it. Imagine its place among all the coastlines of the world. You are that one grain of sand. You are nothing. What do you matter?

No, remind yourself that you are known. That which seems insignificant and forgotten, that which appears lost in the infinity of stuff, is known by God. You, the single star—you, the solitary grain of sand—are part of the promise and known and loved by your Creator.

Copyright © 2011 by James P. Long | Faith and Imagination