Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Stars and Sand and Every Hair

Grains of sand and all our hairs.
A friend posted a link to a photograph NASA released
that focused in on one quarter of the Andromeda Galaxy,
which is a very small section of the visible universe to us, here on earth.
It is 2.5 million light years away, and the sharpest photo NASA has.
100 million stars individually recognizable in it.
My son and I watched the video that spanned the photograph.
It took a video to look over the image, because it is a huge image.
Part of the galaxy was so densely starred
that it appeared more light than dark.
"It looks like sand!" my son exclaimed.

"That's an interesting comment," I said,
"because stars and sand
are what God promised Abraham's descendants would be like."

The stars.
Whenever I felt troubled as a teenager,
I would go out in the dark and look up.
So vast.
It reminded me of how vast God's knowledge and His power are.
How the choreography of the heavens is His handiwork.
How His mind comprehends all these things I cannot fathom.
The heavens declare the glory of God.
He sees the big picture.
Bigger than we have yet comprehended.

Ah, but the sand...
From the vastness of the heavens to the grains of the earth.
Details I'm too big and important to take notice of.
I walk on it.
But I don't get close enough to count it.
The sand touches me, but I don't know it.
Not like that.
I've seen so little of it.
Those things that are so out of my reach,
and the ones that are so easily touchable,
are both unknowable to me,
and intimately known to Him.

Surely if human beings can zoom in
on a galaxy 2.5 million light years away
and recognize individual stars clustered like sand,
He can see me.
I'm a lot bigger than a grain of sand, and He has counted them.

"You comprehend my path and my lying down, 
and are acquainted with all my ways."
I am not even acquainted with all my ways.
I have talked in my sleep and not known it, but according to Psalm 139,
"There is not a word on my tongue, 
but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether."
The sum of His thoughts toward me is more in number than the sand.

"The hairs of your head are all numbered," Jesus said.
"Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul."
Do you need that reminder?
I often do.
Why not fear death?
Because He is Life.
Because He was raised from the dead.
Because connection with Him will raise us, too.
And those who serve and worship darkness and death
cannot snuff out Light and Life,
no matter how many they put to sleep for a little while.

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