When I was little, my family had a pair of binoculars. Sometimes, at night, I would look at the stars through them.
I didn’t do this very often because I had this irrational fear of being alone. I don’t know about you, but when I use binoculars, I feel like I’ve been removed from reality and have entered another world.
Or maybe that’s just when you’re looking at things that are several light years away.
At any rate, it freaked me out, so I didn’t do it very often.
That was before my friends Lena and Cathy took me to a concert in Minneapolis.
I had known Lena for a while and I had met Cathy several years previously. Cathy and I met when I was new in town and I was painfully shy. We met at a Bible study and during my time at that Bible study I think I might have said roughly 3 words and when it was over, I fled in terror. I didn’t flee because the Bible study was weird. I fled because in addition to having an irrational fear of being alone, at the time, I also had an irrational fear of being with people.
I was a very, very conflicted person.
During our drive to Minneapolis, Cathy asked me what on earth happened to me — because I had gone from being so painfully shy that I couldn’t be in the same room with strangers to being on the church worship team every Sunday and speaking in front of a crowd of people at church and actually doing a pretty decent job of it.
The transformation was completely astounding. And it happened, literally, overnight. Or, rather, in one afternoon. Sometime between 1 pm and 5 pm on a chilly December afternoon, while I was supposed to be studying for my Microbiology final.
To this day, I do not regret not studying for that final.
The results of the final were…. bad.
Maybe “bad” isn’t strong enough of a word. Maybe “horrific” might be better.
But, the things that happened to me that Sunday afternoon that I was “slacking off” were so life-changing that the horrific results paled in comparison. I experienced a complete turn-around in just about every area of my life that afternoon.
But- that is another story for another time.
Lena and Cathy and I went to see Chris Tomlin and Louie Giglio at the How Great is Our God Tour in Minneapolis that night. I saw and heard this message in person that night.
After hearing about four stars that night, I’ve become mesmerized by stars.
Stars remind me of how big God is.
If God holds the universe in His hands, then God has to be a pretty big being.
Louie talks about how big the stars are in comparison to the earth. Seven quadrillion Earths could fit into the biggest star that has been discovered so far. And that’s just one star out of unknown numbers of stars. I understand there are hundreds of billions of galaxies, each containing hundreds of billions of stars — and if just one of those stars is gigantic enough to swallow 7 quadrillion Earths, AND considering that new stars are being formed even as I type — God’s hands have to be pretty enormous.
And if God’s hands are that huge, the rest of God has got to be pretty enormous too. He’s so big that He exists outside of the universe. He’s so big that He has the hundreds of billions of galaxies each containing hundreds of billions of stars cupped in the palms of His hands.
And somewhere in the midst of all the galaxies and stars that are cupped in the protective, loving, merciful hands of God, there is a small ball consisting of several organic compounds that is home to 7 billion creatures called humans.
And somewhere in the midst of those 7 billion humans is a very special person- you.
In the scheme of things, we are about the size of a speck of dust.
But the amazing thing about it all is that it was created FOR us. God breathed out galaxies and stars and planets and moons and our home, Earth, with the intention of giving us dominion and authority over it. He loves us so much that even though we are but a speck of dust, He created the vastness of the universe and the beauty of the stars to bring us pleasure and to bring Him glory.
Today, I was looking at some photos from NASA. I do that sometimes because it reminds me of how little my problems are in comparison to the rest of the universe. If God’s big enough to deal with all of those things, then my problems are just a drop in the bucket. He can handle them.
On a more scientific note: did you know that there’s a planet that orbits two stars? And that Saturn recently had a “storm” that affected almost as much surface area of Saturn as the entire Earth? Did you know that galaxies have star-forming regions where new stars are literally being “born”?