Today: Thursday, November 21, 2019

Mind boggled    (11/19/2017)

If you want to face some ‘mind boggling’ facts you only need to begin to explore the scale of the known universe.  Our local astronomer mind-boggled us last week, describing the unimaginable scale of what is currently known about the universe.

He brought us up-to-date about the most distant object so far discovered.  It is, he told us, a far, remote galaxy which was only observed a very few weeks ago.  I forget exactly how far away it is, but it’s further than one recorded last year which was 13.4 billion light years away.  At least our astronomer friend could say that his mind was boggled too!

Numbers and concepts like that are totally beyond our imagining.  They lead us very naturally to echo what the writer of Psalm 8 said many centuries ago - 

When I consider your heavens,

    the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars,

    which you have set in place,

what is mankind that you are mindful of them,

    human beings that you care for them?

Whenever I feel an overwhelming sense of insignificance - that this world is less than a dot among the galaxies, and that I am less than a very temporary dot on this earth, I find comfort in the thought that the God who made the infinite vastness also made the infinite smallness.  I am not, after all, the smallest thing in God’s creation, even if it feels like it sometimes! 

That same astronomer talked about some equipment used in astronomical calculations which is capable of measuring something that is one thousandth of a proton wide.  That is not just a tiny fraction of an atom, but a tiny fraction of a fraction of an atom!  God has gone into that much detail in making creation work.

Scientific discoveries like that must affect your view of God.  To my mind one conclusion has to be that God is bigger than all of it.  In philosophical language, ‘God is greater than anything that can be conceived.’  In other words no matter how vast the universe, how minute the detail, God is greater - beyond our measuring or imagining.

Jesus said that even the hairs of our head have been counted.  What, we might say, does God keep a record like that, when I don’t even know how many I have myself?  And not just you, Jesus is saying, there’s not a sparrow dies without God knowing (see Matthew 10:29-31).

Jesus also said that he was going to God the Father to prepare a home for us.  Our destiny, our future, in other words, lies not in the depths of a cold, distant and unresponsive universe, but in the heart of God the creator himself.  Now that’s something to boggle the mind and the heart.


Eternal God, your eternity is beyond me; I can’t begin to conceive of eternity and timelessness.  But you have promised us a home and a welcome.  Help me to trust you, to find in Jesus my hope, security, happiness and future.  Help me to find in him who died and rose for me and for all the world, the true perspective for looking at your great and wonderful creation.

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