I have enjoyed my night drives home through the mountain passes these last few weeks. First, they give me ample time to pray, reflect, debrief and think; but secondly they provide me with the opportunity to see the brilliant Colorado night sky. I have seen a “falling star” every night I have been driving home in the last few weeks. I decided to read about these celestial mysteries and found out that a falling star is not actually a star at all. They are actually classified as“small, solid bodies that enter the Earths atmosphere as they travel through space. These stars are commonly called meteors. Meteors can enter the our atmosphere with a velocity that ranges from ten to seventy km/sec. These meteors can plunge into the atmosphere at velocities ranging from ten to seventy kilometers per second. Consequently, the friction that is created is great enough to cause the meteor to begin burning up which produces the light that we refer to as a falling star. A meteor shower occurs when hundreds of meteors fall simultaneously. Therefore, our atmosphere acts as a buffer zone which protects the Earths surface from impacts by many meteors that burn up as they travel through our atmosphere. In space there is no such barrier, so these meteors don’t burn up. “ (source Lansing State Journal, 1998)
The earth’s atmosphere acts as buffer to protect the earth from the full impact of these meteors, isn’t that incredible? Then after the earth slows the meteor down, the effect is a beautiful stream of light cascading across the sky in a star-filled night. A light show for us observers. How amazing is it that there is an atmospheric buffer on earth between us and space debris? We are protected from the permanent fallout while enjoying the radiant beauty of the aftermath. It reminds me of the buffer we have as Jesus followers. It is already in place in our lives, but so often we deactivate its power and we let some meteors crash through and cause craters in our soul. The buffer I am talking about is the power of love. Not superficial, self seeking, romantic, feel-good love; nope I am talking about sacrificial, put others first, be patient, push through the pain kind of love. This is our atmospheric buffer against the meteors of life like; pain, destruction, strife, contempt, unforgiveness, and bitterness.
This is not a buffer that is in place automatically, like the invisible atmosphere surrounding earth. This buffer, in order to be activated, requires us to spend time in prayer, self -reflection, solitude, and accountability to others. This buffer requires us to seek God, to know God, to let God examine, through His word and the loving words of others; our heart. As Blaise Pascal penned, “If man is not made for God, how is it that he can be happy only in God? If man is made for God, how is it that he is so opposed to God?” This internal battle to submit to the creator of the universe and truly love others wars against our wretched, but very real, desire to love ourselves. Therein lies the rub. We are protected from life’s miseries, its deep brokenness, through the power and the buffer of love; but we battle with ourselves in putting that buffer in place. You see, self-love is self-protection, pride, self-righteousness and indignation; It is easier to put that type of love in place. Whereas the love Jesus modeled for us goes the extra mile, gives with no thought of return, forgives over and over, seeks others in humility, and ultimately seeks the face of God Himself rather than demanding a response to love. It is much more pain-staking to activate this atmospheric love in our life.
We can be damaged from the “falling stars” that enter our world if we do not activate the atmosphere of love. We do it by seeking God to release us from bitterness, we do it through repentance of addictions, strongholds and habits, we do it through honest confession of our wrong-doing, we do it through forgiveness of wrong-doings done against us, we do it through gut-wrenching reflection of our brokenness. It is through these actions, and many others, that we can activate the love of Jesus in our hearts as an atmospheric buffer in our lives. In doing this we also can sit back and see the beautiful side of a meteor crashing through our atmosphere. Those lights and sparkles we see in the sky as the after effect of a meteor falling to earth, are indicative of the light or truth we will see when we view our meteor crashes through the atmosphere of love. When Kevin and I are in the midst of conflict or battles in our marriage that I can’t seem to get through, I ask God to guard my heart, to help me see my own sin more clearly, to create an atmosphere of His love. In the past I couldn’t filter these “crashes” I could only let them land where they landed and hope the damage wasn’t permanent. Unfortunately many of them were not buffered through love and their landing jolted me and brought immense destruction. But, in Christ we can use love to buffer the damage of those conflicts. There will still be a “collision” but it won’t be as scarring, and oftentimes will produce a trail of light, and beauty, in its aftermath. Start today by creating an atmosphere of love in your life and keep a look out for the beauty of those “falling stars” in your life. They can take your breath away if you let them.
Mountain Haven’s Falling Stars!
We want to create a stronger atmosphere of love in our own home, a deeper understanding of God’s love in our ministry and outreach to others, and a broader scope of how to walk in the permanent loving atmosphere of God’s sustaining, never-ending love. In seeking that we are going into a time of sabbatical and prayer for November and December to rest, and seek God for the direction and continued provision for Mountain Haven. Marriage and family ministry is a battlefield, at times a wearying one, and it is not one we can fight alone. We covet your prayers. We need more monthly and one-time partners to help make our donation-based services available. During this sabbatical we will need extra financial support to make it through this time without the consistent counseling income. We need rest, reprieve and personal support.
Please pray about how to support us during this time of rest. Give at www.mountainhavenmarriageministry.com or mail a tax-deductible donation to 1160 Diamond Back Trail Canon City, CO 81212. Stay in touch with praise or prayer requests as well. Thank you and we love you!