From The Heavens Devotional by Kevin Hartnett
On clear autumn nights in the Northern Hemisphere, near midnight, a lone bright star can be seen skirting the horizon to the south. This is Fomalhaut, singularly bright in its whole quarter of the sky. It is in the faint constellation of Piscis Austrinus, the Southern Fish. Fomalhaut is Arabic, meaning “mouth of the whale,” and it is a very old name. This constellation was one of forty-eight listed by Ptolemy in the second century— a list compiled from even more ancient records. Fomalhaut is only twenty-five light-years distant; hence, it is relatively close to our solar system. It is about twice as large and massive as the Sun. Though seemingly isolated, it is believed by some to be part of a group of sixteen stars called the Castor Moving Group, an association of stars traveling together in the same direction across the sky.
Fomalhaut has a prominent place in modern astronomy as well as ancient lore. The first planet outside our solar system ever to be directly imaged and confirmed was discovered on the inner edge of a very large dusty ring around the star. From the effect of its gravity on the ring, scientists believe the planet is no larger than three times the size of Jupiter. Though it is a billion times fainter than its star, it daily reflects a bit of
Fomalhaut’s bright light to us.
Are you ever lonely? Do you feel out of place, ineffective, unnoticed, or unproductive? The Lord wants to encourage you today. He does not like His people to be isolated. He has others nearby who share your values and interests; ask Him to make them known. Though you feel like a lone star, know that God in His providence and kindness is working His purposes in and through you. He has redeemed you with the blood of His own Son and placed His Spirit within you. The light of Christ that emanates from you now will unquestionably affect others for good, even if you don’t see evidence of it right away. Hold fast to your faith; in Christ, your life has eternal purpose—and you are never alone.
Do not let the son of the foreigner Who has joined himself to the LORD Speak, saying, “The LORD has utterly separated me from His people”. . . . Even to them I will give in My house And within My walls a place and a name Better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name That shall not be cut off.–Isaiah 56:3, 5
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