The world is a pretty big place.
This statement shouldn’t come as a shock to most people. But how much do we understand what that really means? It’s not like we can put it into any kind of meaningful context. Let’s try anyway: If you decided to set sail on a boat and circumnavigate the globe, it would take around 3 to 5 years, depending on how many times you stop to take in the sights. Of course, you don’t need to do that, it’s far quicker to fly taking only around 45 hours to make the same trip. Here’s another attempt to try and put ‘big’ into some context: The Pacific Ocean holds more than half of the Earth’s open water supply, and it’s basin, that’s the land below sea level, is so large that it could hold all of the world’s continents. Finally: Our own Moon would fit inside our planet around 50 times over.
On the other side of this scale, we know our Sun is so much larger than our planet, but by how much? How many Earths would it take to fill up the Sun? The answer, astoundingly, is 1.3 million, 1.3 million! And our Sun’s size is ‘average’ compared to some other solar beasts in the Universe. There is a star called Betelgeuse, which is estimated to be 700 times larger than our Sun. Fun fact: If Betelgeuse was the size of Wembley Stadium in London, UK, the Earth would be the size of a pearl, and our Sun a Mango.
Despite these various examples, it is still hard for our brains to really understand such vast distances and numbers. The entire Universe is estimated to contain hundreds of billions of galaxies, each with its hundreds of billions of different kinds of stars. We know things are big, but bigness on this scale becomes almost indefinable. On a human level, the mind starts to boggle, and we can’t really comprehend it.
I believe we’ve also got a big God. A God who created All. Of. It. Not only the big stuff but all the tiniest stuff that come together to make it all visible. This is the God who created us and wonderfully cares for All. Of. Us. In Psalm 8 from the Bible starting at verse 3, the very human writer declares: “I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous, your handmade sky-jewellery, Moon and stars mounted in their settings. Then I look at my micro-self and wonder, Why do you bother with us? Why take a second look our way?”
As we think about the vastness of the Universe and realise we can’t comprehend the distances and the bigness of things within it, and we add to that the idea that God created it all, it should stand to reason that He should be even more unfathomable! In fact, in the Book of Job, who some think is the oldest book of the Bible, it says that God is infinitely beyond our understanding.
But God revealed Himself through the Word and the Son. We discover through them, precisely how much God thinks of us, how much He loves us and how very special each and everyone one of us is. From determining the number of stars in the Universe and giving them all names, to the numbering of every hair on our heads, I believe shows how God not only cares for the vastness of His creation but also the seemingly unimportant details of our lives.
This blows my mind, and often it makes me pause and feel amazed that He “bothers with me,“ as it says in Psalm 8, and that He keeps taking a “second look my way”. God, who is powerful enough to create amazingly different worlds, is thoughtful enough to knit us together in our mother’s wombs. Biblical teaching tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made under God’s watchful care.
You are never alone. You are made for a purpose, and God has a plan for you. You are not small in His eyes even compared to the rest of creation, you are so important. Important enough that He came to live amongst us, to feel our joy and to experience our pain. He knows all areas of the Universe but chose to be with us, and we can choose to be with Him, to experience a personal relationship with Him. The seemingly unfathomable God has become known to us because of Jesus Christ the Son.
The world is a pretty big place.