Have you ever had the chance to look at the night sky through a small, backyard telescope?
Even with a Costco special there are some amazing examples of the creativity of God on display on every clear evening.
It’s hard to hold back an “Ooh” or a “Wow” the first time you see the rings of Saturn,
or the Great Red Spot of Jupiter,
or the paint brush like strokes of the Orion Nebula.
But like a lot of things in the creation, the deeper we are able to look, the more awe inspiring the view.
Consider this unexpected headline that ran on Space.com yesterday.
Giant ‘Hand’ Reaches Across Space
Tiny and dying but still-powerful stars called pulsars spin like crazy and light up their surroundings, often with ghostly glows.
So it is with PSR B1509-58, which long ago collapsed into a sphere just 12 miles in diameter after running out of fuel.
And what a strange scene this one has created.
In a new image from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, high-energy X-rays emanating from the nebula around PSR B1509-58 have been colored blue to reveal a structure resembling a hand reaching for some eternal red cosmic light.
Now an image like this is bound to generate some comments.
One news and comment web site introduced this story with the tongue-in-cheek headline :
The official high priests of naturalism are already giving their “Tut! Tut! It’s just a fortuitous collection of atoms and energy!” speech.
As with everything else that is wildly creative and wonderful in our universe, they have to make sure that everyone sees in the same chalkboard dull tones as they do.
But when I saw this image, it immediately reminded me of an even more awesome, mind blowing truth that God reveals in the Bible.
Speaking of God, the prophet Isaiah wrote:
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
Measured heaven with a span
And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure?
Weighed the mountains in scales
And the hills in a balance? (Isaiah 40:12)
This passage becomes incredibly vivid when we take a moment and understand the meaning of the term “span”.
A span was a way of measuring the length of an object. It was the distance between a out stretched thumb and a forefinger.
Do you catch the breath taking truth we are given here?
Astronomers estimate that our universe is anywhere from 15-20 billion light years across.
A light year is the distance light travels in 365 days at 186,000 miles per second.
Now imagine if man invented a star ship that could travel at that incredible rate of speed without smashing into a meteor or asteroid along the way.
Now, imagine if through genetic engineering we were able to extend the life span of a crew to 15 -20 billion years so they could live through the trip.
If we were able to put together what some would believe would be the apex of human achievement and pull off such an extraordinary mission –
We would have only managed to travel the distance between God’s thumb and little finger.
But the awesome vastness of our universe, pointing to the infinitely greater nature of our Creator isn’t the most amazing thing about all this.
Jesus said this awesome God is intensely and intimately interested in each one of us.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6-7)
God, Whose hand is infinitely bigger than the one in our x-ray image, loves you so much He even knows how many hairs are on your head.
And when you get to be my age, you realize this is a constantly changing number!
God is not only awesome beyond all comprehension, but also completely aware of every detail of our lives.
He is not only powerful, but also personally invested in everything that matters to us.
O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it. (Psalm 139:1-6)
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