Monday, December 9, 2013

The Truth about Teeny Tiny People on a Spinning Ball

The Spiral Galaxy, hubblesite.org
The Universe is enormous.  This is probably not new information to anyone reading this.  I have always been interested in astronomy; the sun, the moon, the planets.  The celestial skies have been a source of awe and wonder for me.  But, yesterday, as I sat in adult education hour at my church, I was flat out overwhelmed by just how enormous,and limitless the Universe around me is. 

Here are just a few statistics I pulled up off the internet:

  • If the Milky Way Galaxy were the size of the North American continent, the Solar System in which we live would be so small in comparison that it would fit into a coffee cup.  (www.kidzworld.com; Basics of Our Solar System)
  • hubblesite.org
  • Scientists can "see" billions of galaxies, but they know there are still others that are unseen. (www.csep10.phys.utk.edu)
  • The sun could hold 1.3 milion Earths. (www.csep10.phys.utk.edu)
  • Half a billionth of the energy released by the sun reaches Earth.  (www.astronomyforbeginners.com)
Now, considering these are all things that are "relatively" close to us; things with which we are familiar, like the sun and our solar system; and considering the fact that the Milky Way Galaxy is 100, 000 billion light years in diameter, and how many additional planetary systems it holds; then considering the fact that I noted above~that there are billions of galaxies that scientists can see, but others that remain unseen; all of this considered means:


The Universe is unfathomably HUGE!  
Star Forming Region 106, hubblesite.org

Which makes us indisputably teeny-tiny...we are miniscule.  Our planet is small, our solar system is small, our galaxy is one in a billion.  So, how on "earth" can we feel important at all?  What is the POINT of all of this?

First of all, looking around, at our planet, at our sun and our moon, at stars and galaxies; one gets the feeling that there was and is a Master Creator.  Something this beautifully intricate cannot just come to be.  Gravity in and of itself tells me that God created the earth for us to live on it.  He set the sun just so far away as to enable us not to be burned up, but to have seasons.  He set the world in motion in a perfect way so as to keep us from flying off into space.

I can't help but agree with the Psalmist who wrote "Let the Heavens praise your wonders." Psalm 89:5 and, "The Heaven's declare his righteousness." Psalm 50:6.  The beauty of the Universe is absolutely flowing from an endless river of extraordinary mercy and love. 

But, so what?  It's gorgeous out there; it's vast, and limitless, and mysterious.  But, so what?

Here's what's so amazing~ "As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him." Psalm 103:11.  Really...as insignificant and puny as we might feel, God's love for us is bigger than this grand Universe.  
The Helix Nebula, hubblesite.org

But wait, there's more..."as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us."  Psalm 103:12.  Really...as far as the east from the west...if we are talking about the "heavens" still, then that is a pretty significant distance for him to cast our sins away from us. 

So, God made all of this~spoke it into being right in the very opening events of Genesis.  He gave the earth to us; to care for it and dwell on it.  Yet, we continue to deny his existence, we continue to deny his authority, we continue to deny his sovereignty and ask why he does things the way he does.  It doesn't seem that we are reciprocating the "vast" love that he has shown for us.

Now, if any of us treated one another the way we often treat GOD; like a non-existent inconvenience, I'm pretty certain we would have walked away a long time ago and said, "To Hell with you."  But guess what he did?  He said, "There is a person alive who does not sin.  There isn't a person alive who can live with me for eternity because they are not holy enough.  I need to solve this once and for all."  So, rather than walk away from us, he came to earth to live among us. 

We like this image, don't we?  The boss going out and working the sales floor; the CEO making the cold calls?  But think about this...really think about it.  The lashes, the mocking, being spit upon, and ultimately nailed to a cross...and we aren't talking about "the boss," we're talking about the God who made the Universe.  

Why would he do that?  In the book of Isaiah 55:9, God says that "...as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."  We can't get inside the mind of God. We can't understand his ways.  But he's given us the world, he's given us life, and he's given us his own righteousness through his death, suffering and resurrection from the dead.

Earth, hubblesite.org
In one of my favorite songs on the Newsboys album Restart, they say, "Seven billion people on a spinning ball, and they all mean the world to you..." (Fishers of Men).   Thank you, God, for loving me so much.  What an incomprehensible God you are. 

Wait...there is a question here begging to be answered...quite a few, actually...

If God could create this sea of celestial beauty, spin the world into orbit with a word, and knows every star and every hair on our heads (Psalm 139), then why is my daughter blind, why do people get cancer, and how on earth can a person who murders another person be just as worthy of redemption as I am?

I guess we'll just have to put our "patient pants" on and see how I'm going to tackle these questions tomorrow....

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