There's a Moon Out Tonight
By Joni Eareckson Tada
I am a hopeless romantic – especially on a moonlit night. As a little girl, I loved sitting in the backyard with my mother on an evening when the moon was big and beautiful. I’d lean against her shoulder and look up into the full, yellow orb as we’d sing, “When it’s moonlight over the River Colorado, how I wish that I were there with you.” We’d harmonize on every moon song we knew – Shine on Harvest Moon, Blue Moon, and By the Light of the Silvery Moon, to name a few.
I look back on such evenings as a blessing. They were deeply spiritual experiences – moments that drew me very close to God (as well as my mother). I’ve often wondered why I felt so near to the Lord on those mysterious, romantic nights. At no time do the heavens seem more glorious than on a night when crickets are calling, the breeze is soft, and the moon is on the rise. “The heavens declare the glory of God,” says Psalm 19:1. And they declare a special kind of glory on moonlit nights.
For there is a way to delight in nature that is not for its sake, but for God’s sake. To this day, I will gaze up at a moon, full of longing and, yes, even romance, and think, Oh, Lord Jesus, the wonder I feel on this lovely night reminds me of how utterly beautiful heaven will be with You – You created this for my enjoyment and it is just a hint, a little preview of even more beautiful things to come when I go home to You in heaven!
Friend, that’s the way you glorify God when you look on His creation. I don’t love the moon for the moon’s sake – that would be idolatry. I love it because it points me to a greater love: Jesus, the one who invented the enchantment of a moonlit night! The night lights in the sky didn’t become beautiful on their own; they point to their Creator. And our great God is brimming over with beauty, quiet delight, and, yes, even romance (you won’t find a greater Lover than the hound of Heaven who is passionate about seeking and saving the lost).
Psalm 148:3 tells us, “Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars!” And I’ll add, praise Him, all breezes that stir the trees, and all winds that whip the ocean wild. I love nature because its loveliness showcases the allure of my God who created every good and perfect gift – everything in nature – for my enjoyment.
Yes, there’s a full moon this month, and I’ll probably sing a few moon songs under its charm. As I do, I will miss my dear mother. But the heavens also declare the glorious assurance of one day I’ll be reunited with her at the feet of our precious Savior. Yes, it is the Lord Himself who placed within my heart – and He placed it within the heart of my mother – a delight in Him. And it happens every time a full moon crests the horizon!