Hope is a strange thing, and a lot of times we find it in strange places. Last summer there was this star I noticed that was tracking with the moon for several nights. It was the brightest star in the sky, and the first to show up at night. For whatever reason, it has been catching my eye every night and has been for months. At times over the last several months as things have spun out of control it has been a constant, beautiful reminder that my life is small and the world is massive…and that is ok.

The other day I decided I should figure out the name of the star. And what did I find? The most ironic thing ever…the star is the planet Venus.

That’s right the planet named for the goddess of love and beauty. Seriously? I wish someone could have seen my face. The star that has been twinkling and flickering for months at night, observing my prayers and allowing me to shout…is known for love and beauty.

So just to recap we are talking about me: known for no makeup (me trying to put on mascara is actually comical), never wearing heels, known for jeans/fleece and never skirts, only cutting my hair 3 times a year, much prefer action/comedy over chick flicks and refuse to carrying a ‘purse.’

That’s me…who has just figured out that the star I’ve been looking for every night at sunset, as a crazy symbol of hope, is actually a planet named for beauty and love.

After much laughter and disbelief over the irony, what I found out is that Venus is actually the least inhabitable planet in our universe. However, they think that Earth and Venus are the same at the core and are about the same size in diameter.

I’m not the only one to have had a star obsession. One of my favorite parts of the first few years of Jesus’ life is the wise men following a star to find him.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” [Matthew 2:1-2]

They were looking for him. They traveled a great distance. They trusted that star would lead them. They knew a gift had been given in the form of a baby. Think of the perseverance that would have taken. The money they would have needed to travel that far. The sacrifices they had to make in order to stand in front of Jesus. People had to have called them insane…who follows a star?

Incredible, right? What hope they must have had…and they followed a star to find him. God orchestrated the prophecy and the fulfillment of that prophecy in such amazing ways.

Here’s to seeking stars, following your calling, trusting God, doing something radical and finding hope through Jesus in the process.


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