Voices

Small wonders

Do you matter to God?

Issue: "Obama," Nov. 15, 2008

Consider. The largest object visible to the naked eye is a small patch of light in the night sky, known as the Andromeda nebula. It is actually a galaxy, quite close by as galaxies go: about 10 quintillion miles away (1 followed by 19 zeros), and something like 600 quadrillion miles across. You get the idea.

No you don't, and neither do I, because these sizes are just too large for our minds to grasp. Fortunately, courtesy of the internet, you can today enjoy photographs of such astronomical wonders.

God made it all. He made it beautiful, breathtakingly so. And He made it big. He threw out galaxies like sand, as far out as the Hubble telescope can see. Today we can contemplate the immensity of God's power in a way that people of previous centuries could not have imagined.

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Does it make you feel small? You should feel small. You are smaller within the Milky Way Galaxy than a single mote of dust is in comparison to you. If there were no God, you would be lost in the cosmos.

But God is there, as the beauty and immensity of this universe testify. So now you may think, not only are you totally unimportant, but God must be ignoring you in order to take care of Andromeda.

Jesus said, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows" (Matthew 10:29-31). God does not reckon importance by size. He is infinitely great, and so He is not impressed merely by physical dimensions. In His greatness He has time and energy for what is small. He has time for you. He even has time for each of the hairs on your head.

Do you want to know about God's care for your hair? Hair is made of a protein called keratin. Wikipedia explains: "Keratins have large amounts of the sulfur-containing amino acid cysteine, required for the disulfide bridges that confer additional strength and rigidity by permanent, thermally-stable crosslinking." So God has thoughtfully engineered your hair for toughness-down to the molecular level.

The most remarkable instance of God's concern for apparently small people has been around even before the dawn of modern science. God Himself came to Earth, and became man. "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). Jesus Christ came and even died because God cared. And Jesus is God. That is the most awesome of all wonders, dwarfing the Andromeda Galaxy in its splendor. God came to this galaxy, to this planet Earth, and became man. And for whom did He care? Not only the proud and mighty but lepers, lame people, infants, the blind, and a demon-possessed man so tormented that he lived naked among the tombs. After healing him, Jesus said, "Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you" (Luke 8:39).

Does God care for you? Listen to His commitment to those who come to Him through Christ:

"If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died-more than that, who was raised-who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" (Romans 8:31-35).

So, when you look at the night sky, remember that the God who displays His majesty there has committed Himself to you.

Vern S. Poythress
Vern S. Poythress

Vern is professor of New Testament Interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

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