... and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. (Ps 19:1 NASB)
I remember, before my seriously wayward years, of a time when I felt closer to God than I ever had before. It was a very special moment, and it was brought on by nothing apart from the Holy Spirit's prompting. It was not that I had just come out of a particularly great worship service or a particularly moving message at church; it was not a deeply profound discussion at youth group that made me feel so close to God; it wasn't a beautiful worship song (I didn't even listen to worship music then) or a moving story I read in a book.
It was Him.
I grew up on a pretty good-sized dairy farm in the Pacific Northwest (we like to call it the PNW because we're cool like that), and we had an "island" of grass in the middle of our driveway. It's really hard to describe -- it wasn't a part of the yard -- it was its own thing. It was a grassy area with a magnificent snowball tree, a beautiful lattice archway (thanks to my mom's gardening skills), and a really neat old stone walkway with steps leading to the top of the island, which were probably installed by my grandpa when he and my grandma owned the farm.
On this particular night (I've always been such a night-owl), I remember everyone was already in bed. Out of nowhere came this urge to go outside, and to do nothing except stare up into the night sky. And there was no way I was going to deny myself of this. I was so intent on following through that I even grabbed a chair (an indoor chair! gasp!), brought it outside with me, wrapped myself up in a throw blanket or quilt of some sort, and propped myself up in the wet grass, right there in the center of the island. I was in my PJs, and was all cozy, and I'll never forget the feeling. It's not very warm in the PNW, especially not at night (even in the summer), and I don't recall what season we were in, but I remember feeling perfectly comfortable, and at peace, and I remember being in pure awe and feeling such joy at just being able to sit there -- just God and me -- silent (except for maybe some mooing from our friendly cows), just wondering at the marvelousness of it all.
I recommend this to everyone. It was incredible, and I remember trying to recreate the whole scene once or twice, but somehow it was never quite as serene and holy as the first night.
My study Bible recommends it, too, though! In reference to Psalm 19:1, it says
Go outside on a clear night and stare up into the sky for several minutes. Soak in the grandeur, majesty, and vastness of the starry host -- and then think, My God made all this.
Try it, friends. This may be the moment you've been waiting for.