Did you get to see the great conjunction on December 21? I didn’t.
This was the date that Jupiter and Saturn were in the closest great conjunction . . . in the past 397 years. They were separated by only 0.1 degrees, giving the appearance of a single bright star, which made everyone excited about this event occurring so close to Christmas. I had been excited too—until a thick layer of clouds blocked our view of this incredibly rare occurrence.
Still, even though we couldn’t see Saturn and Jupiter with our own eyes, we knew they were there, thanks to professional photographers and the photos posted by my friends.
This wasn’t the first time my family missed seeing something big. In 2013 we traveled to see Mount St. Helens, but a thick layer of fog prevented us from seeing anything more than 30 yards away. Even though we didn’t see Mount St. Helens, we knew it was there. 1) Because we’d been there before and 2) because there are plenty of photos in books and eyewitness testimony.
What a good lesson about my faith, and maybe about your faith too.
Maybe the addiction or the illness you’re facing clouds your spiritual view. Perhaps financial troubles or elected officials’ decisions or high school stress or depression fog you in. No matter what we see with our eyes, there is more to the story.
We can’t see Jesus with our eyes right now, but people who did see him wrote Bible books about him. When troubles cloud around, friends who believe in Jesus remind us of things they can see clearly. (And when troubles surround them, we can return the favor.) The books written about Jesus remind us that Jesus gave up the glory of heaven to come to earth to save us. By living for us and taking God’s punishment for us, he allowed us to be called children of God. Now we have an eternity of cloudless, fogless peace waiting for us.
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8,9).
Was I hoping to see the great conjunction? Yep. But it didn’t happen—and I probably won’t be here for the next one. That’s okay. If anything, last year taught me how to live with disappointment (and contentment) in the temporary things of this world.
Am I hoping to see Jesus? Yep. And this one will happen; I just don’t know when. That’s okay. I’ve learned to hope joyfully for the things I can’t see.
P.S. Please don’t forget that while you wait for eternity with Jesus, GOD is here with you right now too.
Linda Buxa is a writer and editor who lives out in the country and has a magnificent view of the night sky—except, of course, on major astronomical events.