There were so many things I was struggling with that I fell into bed exhausted. One of my daughters had broken her foot. One of my other daughters was sick with the stomach flu. I myself had strep throat, an ear infection, and a conflict with a friend. It was a bad day. The chaos made me grateful for my bed. Yet I found myself wide awake.
“See that one right there? That bright one? I made that one for you,” I heard God whisper so loudly into my spirit. It was a little after 3AM and I was sitting on the couch, sleepless. I was staring into the night sky, marveling at God’s handiwork. The darkness of the late hour allowed me to observe stars that normally weren’t visible in my neck of the woods. The one that God showed me, twinkling brighter than the others caught my eye again. As the blurriness of my tired eyes cleared, I realized that this star was the middle star of Orion’s belt. Wondering to myself, I picked up my Bible. I didn’t remember anything about Orion from scripture, but I thought I better check anyway. Much to my surprise, there were some words from Job about this constellation that God showed me that night.
“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades?
Can you loosen Orion’s belt?
Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons
or lead out the Bear with its cubs?
Do you know the laws of the heavens?
Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth?
In this scripture, Job is questioning God. Job had also had a bad day. His attitude, although much more justified in his current afflictions than I was, certainly seemed to shadow what was in my own heart.
Responding, God asks Job if he can loosen Orion’s belt. As I thought about that question, I looked at the belt and the stars that it was made of. A couple things that I learned:
The star that was shining so brightly for me in the dark night was the middle star of Orion’s belt, named Anilam. Anilam is a blue-white supergiant, 1000 light-years from earth. This middle star was different than it’s cousins, Mintaka on the left, and Altnitak on the right. The middle star is what is referred to as the anchor star. It’s the stable anchor in the constellation that we refer to as Orion’s belt. As I realized this, it made sense to me that God would ask Job this question, in response to Job’s questioning heart.
In those moments of chaos, that you don’t understand, that you are grappling with, the Father responds with, “I am your stable anchor”.
In the second part of the verse that describes Orion, God refers to loosening the bands of Orion’s belt. This didn’t make much sense to me until I learned a little more about each of the individual stars. And actually, they are not three stars, but two stars and a star cluster. The three stars are not bound together gravitationally. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. The stars are all headed in opposite directions. There will be a day that Orion’s belt is no longer bound to his body. Just like God told Job.
As I prayed about this amazing connection between Orion and Job, the Father pressed me to consider what it meant for me. Those moments of chaos were temporary. Not only did God have the power to loosen the belt of Orion, but He also had the power to hold it all together. As I struggled all day to keep myself together, I realized that I had forgotten to even pray through the chaos that was burdening me. I am so thankful for the love of a Father that pursues us, despite our rebellion. When you find yourself in those moments of chaos that life throws at you, don’t forget to go to your stable anchor.
You are so loved.