Uganda is a poor country, but God bestowed his riches on it this past week: He made its northwest corner the best place in the world from which to watch last Sunday’s solar eclipse, and wealthy tourists spent many thousands of dollars to be there, eat filet mignon, and see the moon briefly covering the entire sun.
My wife and I on Sunday happened to be in Uganda’s capital of Kampala, 200 miles south of the prime-viewing town, Pakwach. We were visiting Uganda Christian University, African Bible University, and several ministries, and eating goat. (No, WORLD News Group is not wealthy enough to have sent two reporters to Uganda to cover an eclipse.) We didn’t quite see a full eclipse with only a thin ring of sunlight, but it was close enough to bring out cries of “amazing” and “wonderful” from the African students who raced onto their soccer field.
Those students believe in God and are studying His ways, but anyone who doesn’t believe in God has to believe in coincidence. The sun is 400 times the size of the moon, and the sun is also 400 times farther away from Earth than the moon is. That’s why we can have total eclipses, with the moon fully blocking the sun. Without that amazing 400/400 connection, the greatest show on Earth would be a dud.
One dictionary definition of coincidence is “a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.” Another is “a situation in which events happen at the same time in a way that is not planned or expected.” It takes strong faith for a person with 20/20 reasoning ability to think that Creation has no causal connection with 400/400, and that no One planned the amazing result.
And here are two other gifts from God, one for scientists and one for marine life. First, during a full eclipse the sun’s corona shines so brightly that scientists can seize the opportunity to measure its light spectrum and thus learn what’s burning inside the sun. Second, the moon at its size and its distance from the Earth is crucial to the existence of life in our oceans: The moon (along with the sun’s gravity) brings about daily tides that mix ocean waters and make possible complex existence even far down.