My husband and I love to go camping in the desert.
And one of my favorite things to do is sit by the campfire and look at the sky.
It's fun to scan the sky at dusk, and try to find the first few *stars* that appear. Before you know it, the sky is FILLED with them – they are EVERYWHERE! You can even see the Milky Way – it looks like a wispy cloud that stretches from horizon to horizon.
When I was a little girl, one of my favorite things to study and learn about was astronomy – it still is!
One of the amazing facts I learned about stars is this – the distances are mind-boggling!
Ready for our lesson? (Don't worry – there won't be a pop quiz!)
Besides the Sun, the nearest star to Earth is called Alpha Centauri. It lies 4.21 light years away from earth. That means if something could travel at the speed of light, which is 186,000 miles EVERY SECOND, it would take 4.21 years to reach this closest star.
Think of it this way – the spacecraft that holds the record for the fastest ever space travel would take a STAGGERING 19,000 years to reach this star!
So, needless to say, sitting under that beautiful canopy of stars in the desert is an absolutely spectacular, awe-inspiring experience.
And quite humbling, I might add.
Today's "Bible Pick 'Ems" is a perfect reminder:
"When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers – the moon and the stars you set in place – what are people that you should think about them, mere mortals that you should care for them?" (Psalm 8:3-4)
You know, it's true.
Staring at the infinite majesty of the skies, it is easy to think that we are nothing to an Almighty God.
And yet, Psalm 147:4 makes this amazing statement: "[God] counts the stars and knows them by name."
In light of His awesome power, we seem so small and insignificant.
We seem like nothing more than "specks of matter."
And yet, our God DOES indeed think of us… more often than we can even know.
Listen to the words of Psalm 139:17, 18: "How precious are your thoughts about ME, O God. They CANNOT BE NUMBERED! I can’t even count them…"
Our God, the One who knows the stars by name, also knows my name, and YOUR name, each one of you.
And He thinks about us all the time.
We are "specks of matter"…that matter!
Yes, my friends, God not only THINKS about us – HE LOVES US!
Let these wonderful words from the book of Psalms wash over you:
"The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love…He does not punish us for our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as GREAT AS THE HEIGHT OF THE HEAVENS ABOVE EARTH…For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust…the love of the LORD remains FOREVER with those who love him."
Yes, looking at the stars in the desert sky gives me new insights about God. The work of His creation in the heavens is awe-inspiring, and it can make us feel insignificant.
However, the same God who paints the sky with stars, is also the One who came to die for us!
He gave His life for us – just because He LOVES us.
And you know what the best news is?
This love is ours FOREVER!
"NO power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, NOTHING in all creation will EVER be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord!" (Romans 8:39)
I will never look at the stars without thinking about God’s love, His FOREVER love.
And my hope for you today is this – that you will ALWAYS know His deep love within your own heart, and that you will draw closer to the majestic God of the heavens, the Master of the skies, the One who knows the stars by name…
…the "Living One who sees YOU" – and knows YOUR name.
"When in doubt, search God out!"