Since I am blogger challenged and am not proficient in posting copies, go to this address (Rick Ianniello's blog) and see a slide show that is absolutely devastating.
"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handywork." (Psalms 19:1)
I became an amateur astronomer back in 1974. I went out and purchased a small reflector telescope, the kind that can at least locate Saturn and its rings. I looked at the moon and at Mars, I saw Venus and Jupiter with its four major moons. All this was very exciting to me and as yet I was not a believer but I was convinced all this did not materialize by chance. And then one night there came an intersect. The planets can only be seen at certain times of the year and even then some of the planets are further away if they happen to be on the opposite side of the Sun. So I had to wait to see Saturn, and during that wait the Holy Spirit had started a process of drawing me to Christ.
I had begun to read the Bible and speak with the only other born again believer I knew at the time, my brother Eric. Eric took me to see “Godspell” on broadway and God used that in my life, but as yet I had not been born again. So all these things were revolving around in my mind and heart when at last I arrived upon a night in which Saturn would be able to be seen. Now it was best seen at 3:00 A.M. and I had to stealthily bring my scope outside and in the coldness of March in New Jersey I began to look for it. To the naked eye it appears as a slightly gold star, but soon I had found it in my finders scope. I went to the eye of the scope and peered into the black of the universe while working with both hands the handles which slightly move the scope to search for the object.
And there it was, Saturn. Silently sitting in a backdrop of darkness it paraded itself with the glory of her rings, and although the rings certainly were not as bright and clear as in the pictures taken by much greater telescopes they could be seen nonetheless. And alone in a Clifton, New Jersey front lawn, I peered at Saturn forgetting the chill and filled with amazement and awe. I continued to work the controls so as to offset the rotation of the Earth and keep Saturn in view.
As I looked away from the telescope and looked at the tiny object in the night sky I had a holy moment. I experienced a confirmation in my spirit that was unmistakable and communicated to me that not only was there a Creator, but that He could be known and His name was Jesus.
Several days later, on another cold night, after watching Billy Graham on television I climbed the face of Garret Mountain overlooking that same front lawn and believed on Jesus and have been His unprofitable servant for these last 32 years. The Savior’s love and faithfulness to me has never wavered, even when I have not always been what I should have been. But through the years I have watched as Space Shuttles and orbiters and the Hubble Telescope have become operational and given us an even greater glimpse of the wonder of God’s creation. I have from time to time been overwhelmed at His power and glory in creation and this post is one of those times.
I stand breathless to think there are several hundred billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy, and even more breathless to know there are several hundred billion galaxies. Think on that for a moment just to primarily get both a glimpse of the greatness of God and the utter and profound limitations of your own pedestrian intellect. If you stood on the equator with a handgun and faced east, and when you shot that gun the bullet traveled at the speed of light around the earth it would go through your body seven times in the first second. And we all know that when the ray of light leaves the Sun it takes 8 minutes to reach the Earth which is 93 million miles away. Now imagine that light goes past the earth and travels for one year at the same speed. That is a lot of miles, approximately 5 trillion miles. But to reach the closest star from our own it has to travel 4 lights years. That is the closest star. And remember I said there are several hundred billion stars just in our galaxy.
What about other galaxies you ask? The closest galaxy to our own is the Andromeda Galaxy which is 1 and ½ million light years from our own. I could go on but this is just the tip of the iceberg concerning the immenseness of the Lord’s creation. But let my pause here for all the calculations and mind boggling facts about the creation pale in comparison with the One who created everything. Yes, the heavens declare the glory of God and God’s own handiwork paint an awesome and yet incomplete picture of God’s glory.
If the creation boggles and confounds the mind, who is He who made it with just a Word? What kind of power creates something out of nothing, and as vast as the visible universe is so is the vastness of the atomic reality that escapes the eye. This Creator cannot be captured in the confines of human understanding. Oh we can grasp the general concept and usually build upon that foundation with carnal and self serving ideas, but no one can understand the Holy One Himself. And only when that Creator reveals Himself on our level because of the graciousness of His divine will can we see with the eyes of our understanding. We are unable to see and know God apart from God Himself.
Now I want to take us on a little futuristic journey that surpasses anything we can dream about. If the created universe cannot be fathomed by our minds, then the Creator, the Risen Christ, is surely beyond our capacity to imagine. Will we have eyes as we know them in this dimension or will our optic capabilities in heaven be far beyond what we now know? Will we be able to experience someone’s presence by a glorified and eternal set of unimaginable sensory faculties that eclipses mere sight and translates recognition into experience? So as we enter the very throne room of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and we recognize the Lamb of God sitting upon a throne, we will have been given a celestial body that will have the ability to see Him as He is.
In that moment, unspeakable and full of glory, our greatest earthly imagery will be rendered as nothing and we will see, hear, smell, understand, and experience the presence of the Eternal God. All that God was and is and always will be flash all at once. The Creator, the Provider, the Lawgiver, The Healer, the Life Giver, the Burning Bush, El Shadai, the Rock, Abraham’s Promise, Jacob’s Ladder, Bethlehem’s Babe, the Young Temple Teacher, The bread and loaves and the miracles, the beatings and mockings, the lashes and crown, the road to Calvary and the blood on Golgotha, the cross and the unspeakable death, the empty tomb and the Risen Christ, and yes the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, all of these things and thousands more will flood our new awareness and we will under the weight of Who He was and Who is forever fall upon our faces and with brokenness and joy worship at His feet.
You see, at that moment His material creation will seem so unremarkable against the glory and majesty of His Presence. We have sensed His presence in our prayer closets and beside the sick bed of our child, we have experienced His presence among other believers and when we were converted, and we have felt His indwelling in our mortal bodies and even were awed by His creation, but now we are in the very presence of His heavenly dwelling place not just for a visit but forever. Do not doubt it for a moment, and my poor words are just some temporary kindling wood that will one day make room for a reality that will set the universe on fire with His magnificent presence.
Oh yes, the heavens declare the glory of God, but like a town crier announcing the coming of some dignitary, these heavens will roll up as a scroll and the one whose glory they declare will appear. And for reasons that can only be described as mysterious love, all those who have believed in this Creator, Jesus, have been included in His eternal plan. Not just spectators behind protective glass, not just vacationers and not just rotating visitors, and even not just as angels, no, we will see Him as He is because we will be like Him and be granted the divine prerogative to be what we most desire anyway, worshipers.