My family lives in a place on this great globe where there is "big sky." For this I am grateful. In the high desert of central New Mexico our home is nestled up against the foothills of a mountain range behind us, while in the other three directions it is wide open spaces for many miles to other mountains and mesas far in the distance. And so at night we have a striking display of stars that I doubt can be rivaled by very many places on earth. Straight above our house the Milky Way makes its luminous swath across the dark night sky; and the rest of the huge expanse is spattered with countless stars - like pinpricks in black velvet through which we glimpse the light of heaven. I can lie in my bed, gaze at the beauty of the stars, and muse. And often when I do, one particular thought returns again and again to me. I hear a quiet question within, "Has any difficulty I've experienced or anything that has happened in my life (or in the affairs of men or the upheavals of nature anywhere on earth) made the stars fall?"
Of course, the answer is, "No." They are still where they have always been. They have not moved. Someone is holding them up. And that same One holds up me, His child. "Underneath are the everlasting arms" (Deuteronomy 33:27). Yes, I have had days, and at times weeks stretching into months and even years, when crises seemed very capable of crushing me down forever into the pit of hopelessness. The word "impossible" seemed engraved across my inner eyelids. I could perceive nothing else. And yet, there were the stars. They had not fallen. Throughout all the centuries of human history, through the painful circumstances, tragedies, suffering, and sadness of each life, God's stars in the sky remain a steadfast reminder that He is in control. He is sustaining the very universe, and He who "hangs the earth upon nothing" (Job 26:7) by His matchless, awesome power is absolutely able to take care of His people and all that concerns them. His sure promise is that He will "work all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose" ( Romans 8:28). We may say, "But I cannot see how He can do that for me." But our being unable through our limited understanding to "put together the pieces of the puzzle" does not affect the certainty of this eternal fact of our Father's loving, all-wise care.
Do you know that God calls every single star by name? "He determines the number of the stars, and He gives to all of them their names" (Psalm 147:4). Yes, He is that big, that great. All the vast shining multitude of stars and suns and planets He made and He rules. We have heard how shepherds know their sheep. A shepherd may have a flock of a hundred or more, and yet each sheep and lamb is an individual to him, known in detail. The shepherd will have a name for each one of his charges. If our God names the stars - which are after all only things, great masses of matter - how much moreso does He take intricate note of each and every person, the cherished, sentient beings whom He made, redeemed, and loves?
This glorious, pre-eminent Star-namer is at the same time the supreme healer of broken hearts. These two amazing qualities blend in this one great and most gracious Being. In the Bible, directly preceding the words describing God as the One who names the stars is the statement "It is He who heals the brokenhearted, and He binds up their wounds" (Psalm 147:3). The very measure of His might and strength is the gauge of His tender mercy and compassion. Stars are one thing. The hearts of His beloved children are another. Would He have names for the one, and no care for the other? Look at Jesus, the Son of God. It is written that through Him God made the worlds (John 1:3). And all through the ages, it is He who has bent over wounded hearts to heal them, and it is His nail-pierced hand that has wiped away tears and silenced sobs with exquisite, divine sensitivity.
There are two places where God says He dwells. God has two temples. "Thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place; I also dwell with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit - to revive the spirit of the humble and the heart of the contrite" (Isaiah 57:15). From the unimaginable multitudes of the starry heavens, all at His command, swifter than light our God of Love comes to hold in His hand a broken heart and heal it. "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and rescues those whose spirit is crushed" (Psalm 34:18). From star to heart. This God who weighs all the worlds in His hand counts a soul in need of healing far more precious. He will never cease to tend and comfort His own.