The Upper Room devotional reflection for Monday, January 17, 2022 comes to us from Lori Hulvey of Illinois

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day. 20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day. 24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Genesis 1:14-28 NIV


I live in a rural area, and it’s relaxing to step outside and gaze at the stars twinkling at night. When a meteor shower is predicted in my area, I stand on my back deck with my head tilted back to look for these “falling stars.” While standing on the deck with the house behind me, I can see only half of the night sky. There may be meteors in parts of the sky that I’m not able to see.

Thankfully, God sees the whole picture. God created us and knows of our past failures and triumphs. God knows what the future can hold for us. “’I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jer.29:11, NIV). God’s hand is upon us every day – loving, guiding, protecting, and forgiving us. God created the heavens and earth, and all plants and animals, including us. We can give thanks that God can see everything as a whole and that each one of us is important to our Creator.


Friends –

I love to look up at the stars when I am beyond the urban light blanket. That star-filled “comforter” of light and beauty is awe-inspiring, to say the least. God’s beautiful, magnificent creation seems spread over the entire world, offering light and direction.

As Lori Hulvey points out, God who created such an amazing world, is also the One who loves each and all of us without condition, and the One who offers hopeful plans for our future. If you happen to be away from the “city” lights and the weather permits, I invite you to go out and look up at those stars, spending a few moments in the peace and majesty of God’s Good and Holy Creation.

--Pastor bea


Creator God, thank you for having your loving hand upon us each day. Help us focus on you so that we will make choices that bring you honor and glory. Amen.

--Lori Hulvey

Prayer Focus:

God’s Creation

Thought for the Day:

Knowing that God sees the whole picture brings me comfort.


Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.

Daniel 12:3 (NIV)