Out of This World

Thursday, September 14th, 2023

Almost every day I look at a website called NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day. They post incredible pictures of God’s magnificent universe. Unfortunately, historically they have never given credit to God, but for those of us who know that the credit belongs to Him, it’s an absolutely amazing way to get a glimpse at what He created. Lord, we pray that someday they will see the truth and shout it from their website! A couple of days ago they posted one that I just cannot stop thinking about. It’s titled Galaxy Cluster Abell 370 and Beyond. An astronomer goes on to describe that the brighter, orange-colored galaxies are around 4 billion light years away and the fainter, bluish galaxies are about twice that distance away. Did you catch that? Each one of those bright spots is a galaxy, not just a star, but a collection of stars/planets/moons and whatever else they might contain. If you click on the picture in the link, you can zoom in and see them a little better. Each one of those spots is similar to the Milky Way galaxy that we live in. People talk about not being able to number the stars, but in reality, we can’t even number the galaxies let alone the stars. God didn’t nearly give Himself enough credit when he said this in Genesis 1:14-15:

14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.

On the fourth day, God created the lights in the firmament. That describes this NASA picture. It’s these galaxies that, keep in mind, are just one section of the universe that the Hubble Space Telescope happened to catch on that day. There is even more next to, behind and before this single picture. I’m going to pull out my math nerd card for a moment. A light year is just under 6 trillion miles away. That’s a 6 with 12 zeros. They say the orange galaxies in this picture are approximately 4 billion light years away. That means the orange galaxies are 24 sextillion miles away from us (24 with 21-zeros). And the blue-colored, less bright galaxies are twice that distance. Let’s back up a little and talk about a light year. A light year is the distance light travels in one Earth year. So, the astronomer is essentially saying it took 4 billion Earth years for the light from the orange-colored galaxies to get to us. This is the part that gets fuzzy for me. It often becomes too much for my mind to process. And there are certainly different views between some scientists and those of us who believe in Creation. I’m not going to debate that here. The point I am trying to center on is just how incredible our Creator is. He made all of this (however wide and far away it is), but yet the scriptures say He cares for us. Luke 12:7 says:

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Psalms 139:17-18 says:

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.

Has anyone yet numbered the sand? That sounds like trying to count the stars.

Final Thoughts…

If God can create and care for all the grandeur that exists in our universe, He can certainly care for us and our needs. He keeps all these galaxies and stars spinning and shining and doing their thing and yet He knows every need we have and every tear we have ever shed. He didn’t just create it and leave. He created it and he keeps it all in order, for His glory and for our good. It might not always feel like things are in order, but that’s because we don’t think like God does. Yes, we live in a broken world and there is real hurt and evil all around us. But does that mean he cannot make something beautiful out of it? Next time we feel hopeless or unsure what to do, let’s remind ourselves of this cluster of galaxies. If He can create and tend to his flock of galaxies, He is most certainly able to take care of and provide for us. Just like that firmament, you were created for a purpose and God is not done with you yet. Settle in and let our Creator love on you and show you just how beautiful and incredible you are.