When I picture glee from a child, I see a child throw up hands and arms and shout or laugh. Their approach to praise is simple: express it with their body and their words. Then fears set in as we get older. We get stiff and caught up in our world’s concerns. We get self concious. The farther removed from Jesus Christ we get, the concerns of troubled hearts grow deeper with no solutions. There are temporary pleasures and praise is given to temporary things, but it’s not deep nor lasting in its effects.
Even with life’s challenges, God’s intention–if we abide in Him–is to walk with a growing inner joy and peace, even in the midst of real life situations that are challenging and contrary. That joy and peace sometimes needs expression–just like the child’s expression of glee.
Believe it or not, this subject relates to observing the heavens as a believer. The heavens are a dramatic display of God’s handiwork, so when I look up at night, when I look up from the miry clay of difficulties that I have, I see something special. It often causes praise. More than one observing period started or ended with my hands lifted to the sky as I thanked the Lord for what I was able to see and study. This is the theme for the observing period on a late night in early December 2011. First a saw an object in the East: M43, which sits adjacent to Orion’s Nebula. A small size version of the sketch is below; a larger version with a different story is at this link:
As I sketched, I commented to God about the incredible colors and defined “black” lanes. The moon was high, so I changed positions in the sky about 60 to 70 degrees to the West to find a moon crater to sketch. It was actually the intended plan for the evening. After wandering around on the surface, I found Longomontanus–a big crater in the SSW. It became the second ‘point of praise’ for the evening. Sketching it took a lot longer. The observing sheet below show the results.
If I stand facing south and raise my hands and arms to praise God, I will end up with hands uplifted to the East and the West–where the objects were about mid evening when I started. The objects became the subjects of points of praise the One who made them…and placed them so I could conveniently sketch them. The objects are radically different, speaking of God’s variety in His creation. I can see in my mind’s eye the scripture that is presented in the two sketches. In the beginning, the verse explains that He wrapped Himself in light as a garment. The second part of the verse speaks of his work in Genesis as he stretched out the heavens like we would stretch out a big tent.
By the end of the night, like many of my observing nights, it was appropriate to praise God–not some subdued barely discernible mumble of a word or two but a heartfelt praise to God with uplifted hands. You see, if we really know Him, He is worthy of praise, and even takes the time to show us points of praise in His creation.
Note: to see a different story about worship and praise along with a large sketch of M43, go to this link: