DR. DAVID JEREMIAH: Our God Is Both Immense and Personal
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Let's review a little high school science, shall we? A light-year is measurement of distance. Light travels at 186,000 miles per second, so a light-year is the distance that light travels in one year. If you do the math, that comes out to about 5.9 trillion miles.
Obviously, we have no earthly references for such a distance. For example, the distance around planet Earth is only 24,900 miles; the sun is 93 million miles from earth. Neither of those numbers even begin to approach the distance of one light-year—about 5.9 trillion miles.
So, if one light-year is a distance that none of us can tangibly understand, facts like the Milky Way galaxy contains between 100-400 billion stars, are nearly incomprehensible.
Is it any wonder that the psalmist, David, wrote, "When I consider Your heavens . . . what is man that You are mindful of him . . . ?" () Think about yourself, an individual person. Now think about the immensity of the universe. God is bigger than the universe He created, yet He knows the number of hairs on your head ( )! How is it that God is immense and personal at the same time? All we know is that He is.
Maybe Paul was thinking about God's immensity when he prayed that we could grasp "the width and length and depth and height" of His love, this God whose works we can hardly comprehend ().
Our God is a God who is big and who blesses big. He creates big and He cares big. His ability to bless His creation, which includes us, is even bigger than the Creation itself. That is how we must see our lives—through the lens of His blessings.
His personal care for His creation and us as His children is on the same scale as the grandeur of His creation of the universe. As profound as the universe is, His personal attention to our life is equally as profound. In fact, a good way to comprehend the depth of God's personal blessings is to contemplate the depth of the universe.
If we fail to look up toward God and contemplate Him, it is easy to stay focused on our problems and circumstances. It seems paradoxical, but God's blessings do not stop when we are in pain. God's blessings pour forth from His character like the warmth and light of the sun He created; they are never-ending. But if we fail to recognize His blessings, we will never enjoy them.
Just as we have developed sensitive instruments that help us see the immensity of God's universe—like the Hubble Space Telescope—we need to develop a sensitivity to God's blessings. That is, we need to grow in our awareness of the always-present blessings of God, especially in those times when we wonder why God isn't blessing us.
And in those moments, when we're wondering where God is, it may also be helpful to step outside one night, stare off into the sky, and let those stars serve as a physical reminder that God hasn't gone anywhere. He's still lighting up the sky, and he's still watching over you and me.
Dr. David Jeremiah is among the best known Christian leaders in the world. He serves as senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, and is the founder and host of Turning Point. Turning Point's 30-minute radio program is heard on more than 2,200 radio stations daily. A New York Times bestselling author and Gold Medallion winner, he has written more than fifty books.
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