Activated - - NEWS - Elsa Sichrovsky is a free­lance writer. She lives with her fam­ily in Tai­wan. By Elsa Sichrovsky

An­other stress­ful, ex­haust­ing day was fi­nally over. Frus­tra­tion and fa­tigue hung heav­ily over me, a com­bi­na­tion of hassles with my cranky com­puter, a gloomy sky with driz­zles and chill­ing winds, the ex­as­per­a­tion of burn­ing the chicken for din­ner—and a dozen other ev­ery­day an­noy­ances.

Af­ter din­ner with the burnt chicken, I set out for a nearby park. My mom of­ten says that “na­ture can soothe ruf­fled nerves like noth­ing else can,” and I de­cided to put her ad­vice to the test.

I wan­dered through the park, half-ex­pect­ing some “magic” to work it­self on me. A dis­carded cig­a­rette pack­age crunched un­der my shoe, and some wilted flow­ers in a pot drooped wearily in front of me. A lit­tle far­ther ahead, a tod­dler was cry­ing as his mother pushed his stroller, while be­hind me, a mid­dleaged cou­ple was ar­gu­ing. Sigh­ing in dis­ap­point­ment, I turned to­ward home.

Per­haps it was a sub­con­scious de­ter­mi­na­tion to find “na­ture’s magic” de­spite the unlovely sur­round­ings, for as I turned to go, I paused and looked up at the pitch-black sky. It was such a cloudy evening that I didn’t ex­pect to see any stars, but to my sur­prise, there was a lit­tle white star twin­kling at me. It was the only vis­i­ble star and it shone so brightly, as if re­joic­ing that I had fi­nally no­ticed it. I sud­denly re­al­ized how rarely I took time to re­ally look at the sky. Why didn’t I gaze at it ev­ery day and sa­vor its up­lift­ing beauty? Why didn’t I let it re­mind me of the One who made it—and me?

As I ad­mired the lit­tle white star, I was re­minded of the open­ing lines of Psalm 19, which I mem­o­rized as a child: “The heav­ens pro­claim the glory of God. The skies dis­play his crafts­man­ship. Day af­ter day they con­tinue to speak; night af­ter night they make him known. They speak with­out a sound or word.” Per­haps, in their own way, the heav­ens are nar­rat­ing the love story of our God who “richly pro­vides us with ev­ery­thing for our en­joy­ment,” writes us love let­ters in the col­or­ful ink of rain­bows, sun­rises, and sun­sets—and winks at us in lit­tle white stars.

I lin­gered for a last look be­fore start­ing home. There it shone, a sole light in the drab dark­ness. It didn’t mat­ter that the other stars were ob­scured by air pol­lu­tion and clouds or that on any other night my star might be ob­scured as well; I’d know the stars are still up there. And so it is with God’s love, I mused. It is con­stant and vi­brant, even when strug­gles and doubts seem to shroud it. Noth­ing can snuff it out; it is al­ways here, wait­ing to pierce the fog and shine into our lives. Now I know why na­ture soothes ruf­fled nerves: through its won­ders, it whis­pers to us of our truest Lover and His eter­nal love. 1. Psalm 19:1–3 NLT 2. 1 Ti­mothy 6:17 NIV

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