“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Psalm 19:1
My childhood dream was to become an astronaut.
That dream met a harsh reality when I discovered it required a lot more than thinking space was “cool,” taking multiple trips to the planetarium and owning a telescope. I gave up my astronaut dream, but still kept my fascination with the universe.
A year ago, when I found out I would be in the perfect location to witness a total solar eclipse, I was beyond stoked. Amazing celestial events always seem to happen in other countries, so I was ready to view this rare opportunity happening in my own backyard.
Three months before the big event, I already had my eclipse glasses (ISO certified) and scoped out possible places to view it. I was ready.
The day of the eclipse, I ended up at my friend’s home with her family and enjoyed delicious chicken biryani and roasted lamb while we waited for the moon to do its thing. Since it was 100 degrees outside and felt like 200 percent humidity, most of the eclipse watching consisted of darting in and out of the house. We knew what time totality would happen, so we had an idea of when to take our seats for the celestial show.
My friend’s dad was the first to notice when 2:30 p.m. started to look like 5:30 p.m. A deep golden light bathed our surroundings as the moon began to fully obstruct the sun. It got slightly cooler and the sky turned the blue color you see right before the sun completely disappears in the evening.
Then totality happened.
Pictures can’t do it justice. The total-eclipsed sun was absolutely and stunningly beautiful. It looked like a silver, sparkling ring of light surrounding a bluish-black circle.
We were floored, and ended up clapping and cheering along with the singing cicadas who thought it was nighttime. In that moment, I lay back and listened to Watermark’s “Knees to the Earth” as I marveled at the beautiful sight above me.
For those brief moments, I understood my small place in the scheme of God’s universe. I pondered Psalm 8:3-4: “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”
Everyone was talking about the eclipse after it happened. It was that spectacular.
I even talked with complete strangers about how incredible it was to witness. That eclipse drew awe and praise from the lips of believers and unbelievers alike.
My friend Heather offered insightful observations for believers to take from the event. First, the sight of the completely eclipsed sun resembled what it might have looked like as the tomb tried to conceal the glory of Jesus’ newly resurrected body (I love that!).
The second observation was that God’s glory is so magnificent that we can’t gaze directly at Him. He is holy and spectacular to behold, just as He reveals through his creation.
How often I forget this is God’s universe, created to reflect and declare His glory and works. It is difficult to grasp the beauty of our invisible God, so I believe sights like a total solar eclipse help give small insight into it.
You know who gives even greater insight into the beauty and glory of God? Jesus. Check out John 1:14:
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Jesus is the perfect representation of God’s glory. He displayed the glory of His Father throughout His time on earth. I love and appreciate how God has given us wonderful celestial events and His Son to illustrate and declare His glorious nature to mankind.
Let’s not take it for granted.
Just as we marvel over celestial happenings, let us marvel over our wonderful Savior so that others too will be drawn to Him. Because at the end of the day, it’s all meant to bring glory and honor to the Creator.