A Word of Encouragement from Elizabeth Rice Handford

Monday’s eclipse was not a omen of evil, as some predicted. On the contrary, it was visible proof of God’s loving faithfulness and His full control of the beautiful universe He created for us.

Monday I watched the eclipse with a friend. Believe it or not, we watched it through the skylight of my dining room! The sun was directly overhead, and every moment went exactly as astronomers predicted. We did go outside halfway through, to enjoy the incredible sensation of dusk and quietness in the middle of the day.

I found great pleasure in the thought that, despite the wide crevasses dividing our country, we all forgot our differences for a few moments last Monday to see God’s marvelous creation at work.

But an even more profound thought leaps to mind. The moon orbits the earth at an angle, and it doesn’t stay the same distance between the earth and the sun all the time. To cause an eclipse, all three must be exactly aligned, and the moon must be in a new-moon phase. Scientsts say that unique geometry is required for the sun, moon, and earth to align exactly, as they must for a total solar eclipse to occur. But it happens. Again and again. Predictably. On time. Century after century. Not magically, but with geometric precision. Why? Because the Omnipotent God who created the sun and the moon and the earth supervises His creation and sustains it.

Psalm 147:3,4 says God “counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.”

Isaiah 40:26 says, “Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out one after another, calling each by its name. And He counts them to see that none are lost or have strayed away.”
When King David looked at the night sky, he was profoundly moved that God “should think of us” and “care for us.” He said, in Psalm 8:3-6,9 (nlt)

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
the moon and the stars You have set in place—
What are mortals that You should think of us,
mere humans that You should care for us?
For You made us only a little lower than God,
and You crowned us with glory and honor. . . .
O LORD, our Lord, the majesty of your name fills the earth!

No, that lovely eclipse was not a dark omen of evil; it was a precious vision sent by God to remind us He is still in charge of His creation. Though we are “mere humans,” as King David said, He cares for us, and watches over us day and night because He treasures us.

Scientists predict that the next eclipse North Americans can see will be 20 years from now, and it be another satisfying proof of God’s power and authority. And twenty years from now, God will be just as committed to His children’s welfare, and lovingly provide His children with everything they need. That’s the kind of God He always was, the kind of God He is, and the God He always will be.