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A glimpse of more than an eclipse

He told her to do this and she was shocked! Several local residents gathered behind my office building this afternoon. We all had our glasses on, watching the slivers of the sun disappear behind the moon. And then suddenly everything went dark. One woman exclaimed, "I can't see anything! I can't see anything!" A male voice quickly chimed in saying with urgency, "Take off your glasses! Take off your glasses!" You could tell she had removed her glasses because she immediately let out sounds of awe and wonder! Witnessing totality of this phenomenal solar eclipse made me feel like I was transported straight into an episode of Star Trek. No camera or photos I have seen quite captures what my naked eyes took in. The dusky blue almost fairy tale sky, the stark black circle of the moon and around it this beautiful white light with pink flares dancing off several sides. It felt big and like it was drawing me into something other worldly, majestic and holy. I felt emotional, tears formed in my eyes and I found myself thinking of these words of scripture, "What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor." Psalm 8:4-9 The woman with the glasses was seeing dimly like through a mirror, and so are we all, but one day we will see face to face and know fully even as we are fully known. (I Cor 13:12) The six or so of us gathered behind the building today, collectively gasped with amazement and wished we could capture what we were seeing, but try as we may our electronic devices could not come close to what our own created eyes were seeing. God made our eyes, yet even what our eyes beheld today is NOTHING compared to what the totality of heaven and God's glory holds. "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." (Psalm 19:1) "He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit." (Psalm 147:4-5) The wonder of the heavens and all things created are certainly not more amazing and awe inspiring than the Creator himself. Following the eclipse, my thoughts turned to something else that tends to get a lot of press and comparison in our lives: suffering. The trials we experience and endure here on this planet, on our unchosen journey, is nothing compared to the glory and majesty of the heavens. The phenomenon of the moon passing before the sun was incredible to see, but it pales in comparison to what is beyond our field of vision, so also our hardships and difficulties are not even worth comparing with the glory that is coming! Josh Wilson's song Before the Morning says it best, "Once you feel the weight of glory, all your pain will fade to memory!" In suffering Lord help me to "consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." Romans 8:18-25 Awe inspiring liberation is coming friend!

Consider this: if millions of people traveled to see something that would last for mere minutes, how much more wowed will we all be by the Creator of the sun and the moon when he redeems all that has been broken?

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." II Cor 4:16-18

Photo credit: Christina Blodgett Solar Eclipse 2024

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