By Ron Hutchcraft

It was about 11 o'clock at night when I suddenly got a cryptic text from my son - "Please turn off your porch lights." Excuse me?

Next weird thing - there are a dozen people in my front yard, all looking up at the sky. I can't really see them. Oh, but I can hear them in the dark.

Then I get it. They've come where it's further from any light to see the show in the sky. The northern lights. The aurora borealis. That spectacular display of colored lights, seldom seen in the lower 48. Caused this time by an unusually large storm on the sun.

So I joined the party. Just like I did when we were all looking at that solar eclipse.

Then watching the news this week, it concluded with amazing northern lights photos from all over the world.

But it was the anchorman's signoff that has had me thinking ever since:

"We've had a lot of reasons to be looking up recently."

Whoa. And not just at the sky.

"The world's on fire." I often hear that phrase on the news. Gaza, Ukraine, Israel, Ivy League schools, tinder box politics, almost nuclear countries, China and Russia on the move, doomsday warnings. World on fire. And it seems like our fire extinguishers are spraying kerosene.

Is it any wonder that depression, anxiety, mental health issues, and even suicide are soaring? Conflict isn't just tearing up our world - it's in our lives, too. Dividing families... churches... communities.

There's not much peace to be found in looking around. With so much chaos and loneliness and fear, it seems like we have "a lot of reasons to be looking up."

The centuries-old question from the Bible seems more relevant than ever: "When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Shaking foundations. Pretty good description. I can't wait to see if God has an answer. Next sentence...

"The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord is on His heavenly throne." (Psalm 11:3-4)

One thing is not shaking - nor can it be shaken. God is still in charge. Always has been, always will be.

Oh, we like to think we're in charge. Until things start spinning out of our control. With one doctor's visit. One test result. One funeral. One financial hit. One storm. One child in trouble.

One of those moments when all our "go-to's" just aren't there or just aren't enough.

Like this week eight years ago. Sunday night, our oldest grandchild's graduation from high school. Monday afternoon, my Karen, the love of my life was suddenly gone. I only knew life with her. I had no map for life without her.

The waves of grief were overwhelming. Yes, I had a family and friends who loved me and reached out to me - but they were grieving, too.

But none of them could go to the places in my heart that were bullet-riddled and ripped wide open.

But "the Lord was still on His heavenly throne." Far away? No. Closer than anyone on earth could possibly be. For His Book told me: "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and He saves those who are crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:18).

I looked up, and He moved close. My Jesus. Who promised, "I will never leave you. I will never forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).

When fear is winning, He is there with His unexplainable peace. When loneliness comes knocking, His love answers the door. When everything's crashing, He is my one safe place.

I met Him at a cross where He loved me enough to die for my sin. I invited Him in and He came - because He's alive. His cross was followed by His empty tomb. And the Bible says of Him, "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure" (Hebrews 6:19).

Yes, we have a lot of reasons to look up recently.

Because "up" is where hope is.



Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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