Testimony of a Wyoming night…

The night was cold and clear. Most of my crew was already asleep and I sat alone by the fire finishing off the fifth of whiskey we had bought in Green River that afternoon. It was our second and final week at this site. More than likely next week we would be moving farther up the mountain. We had three more tower foundations to get done before winter set in and so far, the weather was cooperating.
One thing was for sure. I would be glad when this contract was done. I never considered myself an outdoorsman and this living under the stars was not my thing. I found myself wishing once again that my company could afford a gang trailer so there would be a bed I could crawl into. But soon I would head to my tent and sleeping bag, after enough whiskey it didn’t matter.
I heard rustling behind me and as I turned Bob, my young foreman was coming toward the fire. As he sat next to me I handed him the bottle and he took a long pull and winced at the burn of whiskey. I asked, “What you doing up? I thought you crashed over an hour ago.” He shook his head, “Yeah, I did but I can’t sleep.” I nodded but said nothing more. We sat there sharing the bottle in silence. I noticed that Bob was leaning back and staring into the Wyoming night sky. I looked up myself. It was clear and myriad of stars was amazing.
Bob broke the silence and asked, “Do you believe in God?” I shook my head. I hated these conversations and was about to give my normal response, “Yeah, I believe in God, but he leaves me alone and I don’t bother him.” But instead I said, “I don’t know, I did once upon a time, long ago but now I am just not sure.” Bob was nodding in agreement and said, “Yeah me too but when I look at a sky like this I got to believe someone had to put it all together.” I just nodded again and we both fell back into silence. Soon the bottle was gone and we headed to our tents. I looked up once more at that huge sky, the question was still there and I thought to myself, “God if you are there, why not show yourself so we can quit wondering.”
You know, the funny thing is that in what I now call my lost years I see that God did just that hundreds of times yet I did not see. God shows Himself to us every day and most of the time we are too lost or maybe just too busy to see. In the book of Isaiah God says this through the prophet, “Go tell this people, ‘Keep on listening but do not understand. Keep seeing but do not perceive.’” (Isaiah 6:9). Yes, God is revealing Himself to us but are we really listening, are we seeing.
I think back on that night in Wyoming. I was looking at the very handiwork of the Creator yet seeing, I did not perceive. That mountain sky was so full, the Milky Way visible. Millions upon millions of stars. David put it like this in Psalm 19, verses 1-2: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to-day pours out speech, and night to night reveals Knowledge.” David looked up and God spoke to him, knowledge that waits for us all was revealed, he saw it.
So many times, in so many ways, God is trying to get our attention. The miracle of child-birth. The changing color of leaves every autumn. The perfection of a Monarch Butterfly. Yet for years I walked through life either not noticing or seeing it and not understanding.
I guess the question is what made the difference. Why am I aware of so many things I was not? The simple answer is, faith. When I believed God’s word. When I understood His love. When I accepted the grace of: “For God so loved the world, that gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) The miracle of that is once I did accept I found I no longer needed to see the world from the bottom of a whiskey bottle and when that fog was lifted, like David, I could listen and understand; see and perceive.
So, these days, I am still not an outdoorsman. And tent living is still not my choice of accommodations but I love considering the night sky and seeing His handiwork even through the haze of the city. When I do, I no longer ask for God to show Himself. I see Him everywhere I turn.
Blessings John