The Work of His hands
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?
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
Psalm 8:3-5 ESV
On February 14, 1990 after roughly 22 years of traversing a record distance of 3.7 billion miles in the vast emptiness of space, Voyager 1 space probe turned around and snapped a photo of Earth. That photo was named the Pale Blue Dot. Earth showed up as nothing more than a pixel in a sea of black.
Now, many have pointed to that moment in history -- that photo -- as the revelation of our undoubtable insignificance. In fact, Bertrand Russel, a renowned philosopher, once wrote, “In the visible world, the Milky Way is a tiny fragment; within this fragment, the solar system is an infinitesimal speck, and of this speck our planet is a microscopic dot.”
At times we can feel insignificant, microscopic, without purpose, forgotten and alone. When you pray, do you imagine your prayers having to make the same distant journey as Voyager 1? Sometimes, we may feel like we are screaming into the cosmos for God to hear us and draw near, but instead are met with the vast emptiness as His response. But God is nearer than you might think. His deep love and grace are constantly working.
In the search for life in the universe we have come up surprisingly short. The insignificance of our Blue Dot grows in significance as each possible habitable planet is found void and barren. The criteria a planet needs to meet to sustain life is currently unknown, but the more we look the more the list grows. We might seem to be nothing more than a tiny blue dot in an endless frozen sea of lifeless expanse and distant stars. Yet, here we are!
It can be easy to feel as if God is distant and beyond reach. He exists somewhere out there in the cosmos, in some deep unknown reaches of space, too busy and important to be brought so low as to have to visit such an insignificant blue dot. However, in your search for significance stop and consider the work of your Father’s hands.
Consider how Jupiter was set perfectly in place to fling asteroids from the Oort Belt out of the way of our small “insignificant” planet. Without it we would look more like the moon than the Blue Dot -- no more than the dusty surface of a crater-infested sphere -- target practice for asteroids. Yet He remembered us and placed it there to protect us.
The next time you feel God has forgotten you, consider the work of his hands as He crafted our moon. There are 181 known moons in our solar system, yet ours is the only one that can fully eclipse the sun and make men dream and wonder. Why would He choose our little planet to breathe into life and gift us with eyes to gaze upon something so magnificent to behold? Why would He create such a splendid sight for such an “insignificant” speck.
The next time you feel naked and vulnerable without His protection consider the shield He placed around that little half pixel dot. Consider how our planet is just the right size and distance from the sun to sustain a magnetosphere that can deflect deadly rays of the sun which constantly and relentlessly beat down on us. Our proof of this force field God has put in place? The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. God did not only set up a barrier, He made His protection a beautiful display of dancing lights in the depths of our coldest regions to demonstrate his covering and protection in the depths of our coldest, darkest moments.
So when the lies come flooding into your heart that you are stranded on a little blue dot, lost in the blackness of sin and death, insignificant and forgotten, consider the work of His hands. See just how close He really is and how, while we are a little lower than Angels, when He sent His son, He sent Him close enough to crown us with His glory.
Written by: Gabriel and Kelly Shields