What Others Say

We use your column in our Saturday Spiritual Life section, so I always read it. The new one about Rafael is just totally cool. Again, great column. It touched me enough to email you.
- Greg Jaklewicz - Editorial Page Editor, Abilene News Reporter

Monday, July 27, 2015

How Big Is God

Two weeks ago, the New Horizons space probe sped past Pluto, sending back images of the distant dwarf planet.  New Horizons was launched on January 19, 2006 at Cape Canaveral setting a new launch speed for any space craft at approximately 36,000 mph.   It flew past Jupiter in 2007 receiving a gravity assist that accelerated its speed to more than 45,000 mph.  Even at this mind-boggling speed, almost 100 times faster than the cruising speed of a jet liner, it took nine and one-half years to reach Pluto. Scientists are continuing to exult as they examine the images sent back from the edge of our solar system.

Last week the Kepler telescope, launched in 2009, uncovered our closest “Earth-like” planet. Orbiting a sun similar to our own, the planet known as “Kepler-452b” is 1,400 light years away.  That means that a craft traveling at the speed of New Horizons could reach our closest “cousin” in a little more than 20 million years.  Quite a leap, considering that the earliest civilizations on earth appeared a mere 6,000 years ago.

This gives us a small sense of how infinitely big our universe is.  We have difficulty getting our minds around it, especially when we consider that our sun is only one of billions of stars in our galaxy and there are billions of galaxies.  When I stood under the night sky in Wyoming I was struck by the almost infinite number of stars that filled the night sky. But, according to astronomers, these stars represent a tiny fragment of the total stars in the universe.

God is creator of all this.  To use an anthropomorphic metaphor, He holds the entire universe in the palm of His hand.

In the Psalms, the Bible says, “He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.” (Psalm 147:4-5).  And again, O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth, Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens! ... When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him?” (Psalm 8:1,3). 

Indeed, when we consider the vast expanses of space and time, we are overwhelmed, not only with how immense the universe is, but how insignificant we seem to be. We live on a tiny planet in a remote corner of the vast cosmos, and the appearance of humans is relatively recent in the economy of time. Just yesterday, it seems.  Or, perhaps more accurately, just a moment ago.

God is infinite and eternal.  We are finite and mortal.

Here is the greater mystery and miracle.  The Master Designer of the universe is intimately aware of each human being.  He knows you!  He knows me! We are important to God.  Jesus taught that God notes the fall of the tiniest sparrow in the most remote forest and He counts the very hairs of your head. (Matthew 10:29-31).

He who created the vast universe in all its complexity created us and has declared His love for us.  How can this be?  Jesus said, “With man it is impossible. But with God, all things are possible.”

2 comments:

  1. Thank you Billy - a great article about the awesomeness of our God!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the reminder that God is bigger than my imagination. Despite having a blessed life (. Filled with lots of activities and a big extended family) and an amazing job I find myself bored. For this too God has a plan for just me. God is big enough to handle it.

    ReplyDelete