Painting the Stars

“When I have a terrible need of—shall I say the word—religion—then I go out and paint the stars.” —Vincent Van Gogh

In a turbulent world, a turbulent man had it right. Before he painted, Vincent was a failed preacher who remembered that the heavens still declared the glory of God. In Alex Haley’s novel Roots, Kunte Kinte’s ancestor held his newborn son heavenward, declaring, “Behold, the only thing greater than you!” Carole King wrote in her song Up On a Roof, “At night, the stars, they put on a show for free…”

Turbulence drowns in a sea of peace when we take time to go outside and just look up. The Heavens still declare God’s Glory—He made them, you know, and He is bigger than all of it. Best of all, He loves you.

Rest well.

—j

A Walk on the Waves

“The secret of tranquility is the presence of Christ. When He is in the boat the waves calm themselves…if you and I are conscious of restlessness, interruptions of our tranquility by surging, impatient passions and hot desires within ourselves, or by the pressure of outward circumstances, or by having fallen beneath our consciences and done wrong things—let us understand that the breaches of our peace are not owing to Him, but only to our having let go His hand.” —Ian Maclaren

The devil makes every effort to keep our hearts turbulent—to keep us unsettled and afraid—grabbing for anything but Jesus to calm the storm—to make us fear walking on the storm with Him. But when Jesus arises He’ll rebuke the winds and waves, and there will be a great calm. “It is I—be not afraid.” Take His hand, hold tight and go for a walk.

Shalom.

—j