|I don’t know what else to call them. Have you seen a space perspective picture online?
It begins with a picture of, let’s say, Earth. We know how big the earth is. At least, we have some sense of its size. Then the picture pans out and shows Earth’s size compared to another bigger planet. Wow! Earth isn’t that big anymore. The next part of the picture shows that bigger planet compared to the sun. Then the sun to the solar system. The solar system is a part of our galaxy, which is part of the universe.
And to think it’s believed we can only “see” two percent of the universe! It doesn’t take long for us to realize how insignificant we could be.
I’ve heard the arguments before that this vastness is a sign of how silly faith is. How can you believe when there’s so much more we don’t know? I take the opposite approach. How can we not!
In Romans 8, the apostle Paul talks about the “sufferings of this present time.” As difficult as they might be, they don’t take away from the glory that is to come. In other words, Paul asks us to look beyond today. As good or as bad as it may be, there’s more to life than today.
Many of us have already experienced the pain of suffering. Many times, perhaps. If so, you already know there’s hope on the other side of suffering even in this short life. I hope you know. How much more God’s glory is revealed to us is a promise we look forward to seeing one day.
Now, if we can’t even fathom the enormity of the piece of the universe we think we can see, how can we fully understand God? We can’t. And that’s okay. Part of what faith is, to me, is seeing the heavens and knowing there is so much more. I also know there is no reason I should have one split second of God’s attention. And yet the Creator of all that is, seen and unseen, works all things together for my good.
We aren’t just small. Compared to the rest of the universe, we are insignificant. That dot on those pictures gets really small really quick. The vastness, though, doesn’t have to make us feel so small. We are loved by God. We are not alone. Our worth is not dependant on who we are or how much we bring to the universe. Our worth comes from the love of God.
But we can act a little ignorant. We treat so much about this life on this small planet as if it all has universal implications. It does not.
Thankfully, God knows we need help. So, we have the Spirit that intercedes for us. In some way, the Spirit translates our finiteness into infinity. And God still works for our good.
Some may look at the wonders of the universe and think we’re too much of nothing for faith to be real. I see those same wonders and echo the psalmist, “What are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them (Psalm 8:4)? That’s more than a question. It’s a statement of faith.
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