“Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.” These words were a promise given to Abraham. All he wanted in life was to have just one son. For the sake of one son, he left everything and followed God. He went through thick and thin. In times of challenges and losses, he found strength to endure when he thought about his future son. In times of success and victories, he gave away the plunder. There was no room in his heart for fame or fortune because his heart was reserved for the son God promised him. But after remaining childless for so many years, he had trouble holding on to God’s word.
At that time, when he was at his lowest, God prepared the galaxy for Abraham. He filled it with stars of all kinds – some brighter than others, some larger than others – all unique, but each one proclaiming the glory of God just the same.
Once it was prepared, God took Abraham outside on a walk and told him, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them. So shall your offspring be.” Wow! Abraham asked for one son and in return became the father of all believers.
When putting this picture together, I was amazed by this message. What was Abraham thinking as he counted each star? Who would have known that, about 4000 years later, so many stars would rise through a small church in Gardena?
When I made the first draft of this picture, about 45 shepherds and sheep had provided their verses. But then three more appeared, and then seven more, and another five – until we had over 70. Now I understand why God said, “If indeed you can count them.” Maybe it would take another month to add everyone who’s in the church. Praise God! May God continue to fulfill his promise to Abraham through our ministry and through the whole world.
I was also encouraged reading each person’s key verse. Many are about love, faith, and obedience. Some are about drawing near to God and others are about growing up as servants. May we all hold on to our key verse this year and see it being fulfilled in our lives by the grace of God!
Enjoy browsing through all the verses! (You can click on the stars to see the image better)