God’s Nightly Valentine to You
A Star Studded Love Note
Astronomers estimate there are between one hundred billion1 and two trillion galaxies2 in our universe.
As technology improves, they expect this number to continue to increase.
Why such an enormous difference in estimates? The differences come in how they tally the dots in a composite photograph of a tiny spot in the sky that the Hubble telescope photographed repeatedly over a ten-year period. Then they multiply that by the size of the universe we can see. Therefore, the estimate is just their best guesstimate.
But the alternative—trying to photograph the visible universe, then count all the galaxies in the photographs—is physically impossible for humans and beyond the capacity of our current technology.
But whether it is one hundred billion or two trillion galaxies, it is still beyond comprehension.
Remember, we are not talking about one hundred billion to two trillion stars. We are talking about GALAXIES.
Astronomers estimate that our Milky Way galaxy alone contains 100 to 400 billion stars.3 If you multiply one hundred billion stars times the lowest number of galaxies, one hundred billion, it will give you the lowest possible guesstimate of the number of stars we can currently detect. I’m no mathematician, so I won’t even try multiplying it out. But that is a LOT of stars.
I once saw a movie about the vastness of the universe at a planetarium. It started by showing the face of an individual and then began to zoom out to show his whole body and then the people surrounding him. Then the street corner where they stood, the buildings surrounding them, and finally the entire city. Then, the entire state, the country, then the world.
As it continued to zoom out, you could see the sun and the planets, and then our entire solar system. But it didn’t stop there. It zoomed out until you could see our Milky Way Galaxy. Then it revealed a couple of other galaxies that surrounded it.
They continued to zoom out until our Milky Way galaxy looked like a grain of sand in the vast number of galaxies we now know exist.
For me, it was a stunning spiritual moment. Two things stood out.
1. God is bigger and more powerful than I ever imagined.
As Psalms 33:6 says, “The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born.” And Psalms 147:4 says, “He counts the stars and calls them all by name.”
2. My world is far more insignificant than I ever imagined.
After all, the Milky Way galaxy is only a grain of sand in His vast universe. At that moment, I echoed David when he said,
When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars (and galaxies) you set in place—what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Psalms 8:4 (Parenthesis mine)
God could take a ballpoint pen and put a dot where our galaxy is and blot us out of existence. One galaxy, the size of a grain of sand, suddenly disappearing from among the billions or trillions of galaxies that are out there … we would never be missed.
What would make a God with that much power—with that many other created galaxies, planets, and beings—decide to send His Son to this rebellious planet that is one hundred billionth the size of the grain of sand galaxy it resides in?
What would make Jesus choose to become one of us and die in our place; give His life so we don’t have to lose ours?
And why would this all-powerful creator God, who knows the name of every single star, planet, and galaxy He ever created, care enough to know the number of hairs I have on my head (which changes hourly, if the back of my sweater is any indication). Matthew 10:30.
Because God is intensely personal and very involved with everything about you and me.
In fact, Ephesians 1:4 states that God chose us before He even created our world. Psalms 139:16 says that before we began growing in our mother’s womb, everything about every day we would live was already written in His book. Jeremiah 1:5 states that before we even started to grow in our mother’s womb, God knew us and had a plan for us.
Did you capture that? In God’s mind, you and I were already fully known and fully loved before He ever created Adam and Eve.
We’ve all heard the question, even if we haven’t asked it ourselves: Why would God create Adam and Eve when He knew they were going to sin, and it would cost the life of Jesus to save us? The answer is simple but mindboggling.
He knew you so intimately and loved you so fiercely that He could not endure living eternity without you.
Simply put, it’s because, above all else, He wants the pleasure of living with you and me for eternity. He is anxious to walk with us, talk with us, laugh with us, and share a love relationship with us—in person—that only existed in His mind before the world began.
That is God-sized love. Incomprehensible to me. But as I view the innumerable stars and galaxies, I catch a glimpse of just how big and grand His love is.
I want to learn to love Him and internalize His love for me fully; learn to live more securely in the reality of this magnificent truth.
How about you?
1by Elizabeth Howell, Ailsa Harvey published February 01, 2022.
2 Galaxy – by Wikipedia – read on 4-10-22
**All scripture quotes taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation.
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