by Paul Benson
We live in quite serious times; and much of the work I do as a Christian writer deals with subject matter a little on the negative side. Constantly warning about false teachings, the sinful condition of the world, God’s call for repentance, and the divine judgment now manifesting upon our reprobate nation can get to be a bit taxing. Sometimes we just need to draw aside and meditate on how wonderful God really is; and to renew ourselves in a revelation of his love and mercy. I’m kinda having one of those weeks.
When I pray I often like to recite the Lord’s Prayer, and at times I have difficulty getting beyond the first six words: Our Father who art in Heaven. I find my thoughts flooded and my feelings overwhelmed with the realization of how big God is (and how terribly puny I truly am); and yet he cares so deeply about me. How utterly amazing! Well I promised a question and a poem. Here’s the question:
How Tall Is God?
Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Isaiah 40:12
I am fascinated with facts about outer space! I love to read about our huge and mysterious universe, and all the many spectacular objects floating around within it. Galaxies, nebulas, black holes, dark matter, solar winds, magnetic fields, comets, asteroids etc. (not to mention the wonders of LIGHT which is a fascinating topic all by itself).
Take our Sun for example. Do we truly realize how large it is in comparison to our home world? The Sun has a radius 110 times that of our planet; which means that about 1,300,000 (that’s 1.3 million!) Earths would fit into the Sun! (Picture a 1 inch marble sitting next to a ten foot high one.) As amazing as that is our Sun is by no means a giant among the stars.
Classified a yellow dwarf, with a diameter of 865,000 miles, the Sun is a star of a nominal size (and brightness) relatively speaking. VERY average. In comparison, a star named Betelgeuse is so unbelievably huge if it were a hollow sphere the earth could revolve around our Sun inside it, and never come as close as 100 million miles to its outer shell! Try to wrap your mind around that picture!
And then there is a massive star named Canis Majoris (Big Dog) that would make Betelgeuse look like a little pup in comparison. I cannot even begin to comprehend a star that is over a half a billion miles in diameter. Can you?
The Milky Way galaxy in which we reside contains hundreds of billions of stars. Unbelievably it is 100,000 light years across! That means that in the two thousand years since the Cross of Christ light has only traveled 1/50th of the way across our galaxy.
To put that into a somewhat graspable perspective, if your kitchen table top were our galaxy, light entering it in the days of Christ would only have traveled about an inch in from the edge since then. Consider the fact light travels about 5.8 trillion miles per year and that your inch represents two thousand times that distance. Now consider that same light would take another 98,000 years to complete it’s journey across your table (our galaxy)!
Now add in the fact our galaxy is only one of hundreds of billions of galaxies which make up the universe. We are now talking about size impossible to describe let alone to comprehend. And our Creator measures the heavens with the span of his hand? Wow! Someone that big must have an awfully large heart, don’t you agree?
(SIDE NOTE: And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. Luke 21:25-26
The Bible describes events (just prior to Christ’s Return) involving the sun, moon, and stars, which will be so incredible they will cause great fear among humanity. I spend a great deal of time reflecting on what those events could possibly be. Asteroids? Comets? Solar flares? Possibly a combination of all? I’m not quite sure; but I think we are about to find out!)
The Computer In Your Head
The complexity of the human brain is to me just as awesome as the vast expanse and wondrous contents of the billions of galaxies out in space. I cannot guarantee the absolute correctness of the following quote , but it does cause a little head scratching.
It is estimated that we have over 100 billion neurons (also called nerve cells or brain cells), which is about the number of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. There are also trillions of supportive cells in the brain called glia.
Each neuron is connected to other neurons by up to 40,000 individual connections (called synapses) between cells. Multiplying 100 billion neurons times 40,000 synapses is equivalent to the brain having more connections in it than there are stars in the universe.
A piece of brain tissue the size of a grain of sand contains 100,000 neurons and 1 billion synapses, all “talking” to one another.
Even allowing this quote involves some ‘guesstimation’ it none the less confronts us with the reality of the enormous complexity of the brain and its functionality. Even conservative estimates place the number of synapses in a human brain at upwards of 1,000 trillion synaptic connections, which some claim would be equal to a computer with a 1 trillion bit per second processor.
The same God who sprinkled the universe with billions of galaxies, each containing billions of stars, placed the same unbelievable complexity right inside your head! What an awesome God he must be! (And all of creation said AMEN!)
A Big God In A Small Package
To me, possibly the greatest and most far-reaching expression of the ‘bigness of God’ is the humility shown us through the life and ministry of his Son.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:5-9
Do we even begin to understand the significance of this passage of Scripture? That Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God (by whom God created all things. Eph. 3:9), took on human flesh with all of its frailty, fears, pains, and temptations; that he might show us the way of reconciliation to God, and give himself a sacrifice for our sins upon the Cross of Calvary. He did that for me, and also for you!
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
The love Jesus expressed in giving up his life to atone for our sin, and bring us into proper relationship with the Father, is bigger than the Universe itself! I hope you understand that; and have placed your faith in the Blood that was shed to wash away your sin.
And now for that poem:
by Paul Benson (Aug. 10, 2016)
O’ precious Seed – those words of life,
which freed me from eternal grief.
O’ precious sowers who cast Good Seed,
and spared me from that Hell beneath.
A broken life, a twisted mind,
a tortured heart so full of loathing;
Transformed by love and precious grace,
now a fountain of life overflowing.
A wandering vessel without safe harbor,
once destroyed upon the reef of sin;
now restored sets course with new cloth hoisted,
and a precious Compass dwells within.
Long dark night of pain and terror,
dispelled by the precious Risen Sun.
An unlit path with a fearful ending,
now becomes an adventure just begun.
Precious promise – life without end;
O’ precious Son sent from above.
Precious Gospel – loosed my chain;
O’ precious God so full of love.
O’ precious Son sent from above!
O’ precious God so full of love!
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