The Cosmic Perspective

There you are, staring at your phone or computer screen, reading Come Awake blog.

It doesn’t feel like it, but you are zooming through space right now at 70,000 miles per hour, or 19 miles per second. That’s how fast the Earth orbits the Sun.

The Sun, of course, doesn’t look very big from our perspective because it’s 93 million miles away, but it dwarfs Earth. If our planet were the size of a penny, then the Sun would be about as tall as you.

And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. | Genesis 1:16

Now let’s zoom out even further.

The Earth and Sun and you and I are in the Milky Way galaxy. The Milky Way is enormous, containing the Sun and about 100 billion other stars. All those stars you see when you look up into the night sky? They’re all within the Milky Way. The sheer size of our home galaxy is stunning.

…who alone stretched out the heavens and trampled the waves of the sea; who made the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the chambers of the south; who does great things beyond searching out, and marvelous things beyond number. | Job 9:8–10

Now imagine if you took the Milky Way galaxy and made 100 billion copies of it. Incredibly, that’s at least how many galaxies there are in our universe.

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host. | Psalm 33:6

100 billion galaxies, each containing billions of stars…

Starting to feel small?

Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might and because he is strong in power, not one is missing. | Isaiah 40:26

So when we look up into a starlit night sky and notice all those twinkling stars, we are only seeing the teeniest-tiniest sample of all the stars God created. Think about the trillions and trillions and trillions of stars that no human eye has ever seen!

He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. | Psalm 147:4

Bottom line:

the universe is astoundingly, incomprehensibly, mind-blowingly vast.

We cannot even wrap our minds around the size of our own Milky Way galaxy, much less the entire universe!

Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. | Psalm 147:5

As for us? Despite all our pride and egotism and self-centeredness,

we truly are astoundingly, incomprehensibly, mind-bogglingly small.

As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. | Psalm 103:15–16

That’s the cosmic perspective.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? | Psalm 8:3-4

*   *   *

Today, I don’t know what problems you’re struggling with or what worries are racing through your mind. I don’t know what fears haunt you or what regrets keep you up at night.

But I do know that whenever I feel stressed or overwhelmed, I like to pause and remember the jaw-dropping vastness of the universe. Because when I do that, when I remember how tiny I am, then I realize how small my problems really are—and how outrageously powerful God is.

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. | Psalm 145:3

So today, let’s remember the big picture. Let’s keep the proper perspective. Let’s humble ourselves and worship our all-powerful Creator. He knows every star’s name, and He knows your name too.

He is great in mercy,
abundant in power,
mighty to save.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. | 1 Peter 5:6-7

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