My wife and I just returned from a 10-day journey through the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Antelope Canyon, and several other amazing destinations.

One of our most unique experiences was when we rented a wagon instead of a hotel in Zion. Yes, you can actually stay overnight in a wagon like the ones you might have seen on the Oregon Trail!

Yes, there was heat (but barely). No, there were no bathrooms in the wagon (but down the road there were).

Was it cold? Yes! Was it beautiful? Also, yes!!!

One of the best parts about staying in Zion this way was that we got to escape all of the light pollution of the big cities. In the middle of the night, we stepped out of our wagon to look up into the night sky. After our eyes adjusted, we could not believe what we saw.

The sky was lit up with heavenly lights! And because we were in the middle of a meteor shower, some of them looked like shooting stars!

This scene reminds me of the verses I preached on last week:

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created (James 1:16-18).

In the full context of chapter 1, I believe James is telling his readers that, when they face trials, they need to remember who God is. He is the same one who is the Father of the heavenly lights. He is amazingly powerful and completely faithful.

Our fate is not controlled by the stars but by the one who made them. And James reminds us that he does not change. His purpose is always the same — to give us transformation and new life, which is a preview of what he intends to do in all he created one day.

Every time you look up, I hope you remember that the one who is the Father of those stars is your Father as well. And with the eyes of faith, I pray we can see that everything he gives us is a good gift from above.

Written by Bill Whitt, Lead Pastor