“The heavens declare the glory of God, the sky above proclaims his handiwork”
My life, which God willing will consist on average around 670 000 hours, so quickly becomes absorbed by day to day activities. I very rarely raise my eyes to actually take in the heavens, which, I would propose, is detrimental to my health. For I find that when I do stop and take in the night’s sky, I start to breathe easier remembering just how glorious God is. I have found the exercise of star gazing to be one of life’s most effective remedy for anxiety.
King David, who would have had plenty to be anxious about, found himself gazing into the night sky one day, maybe just needing a break from the day to day stress of being the king of Israel. Stepping outside he turned toward the stars – what a sight of glimmering white! After taking it all in, breathing deeply, he starts to pen his next Psalm, beginning with the now famous opening verse “The heavens declare the glory of God, the sky above proclaims his handiwork”
What David could see, to him, was clearly the work of a creator. Something this spectacular and majestic could only be explained through the truth of a creator. What David, and you and I, would have been seeing on a clear night is a maximum of 2000 stars. To David, and to us, this is enough to declare the handiwork of our creating God. Add binoculars and the number of stars you can see from a single location rises to about 50,000, and with a small two-inch telescope it leaps to 300,000. With a sixteen inch telescope you begin to count not in stars but in galaxies, between 50,000 and 100,000 galaxies, each containing tens of billions of stars.
Recall the illustrations of our night sky from school, depicting all the planets drawn neatly and close together. In reality, the distances are staggering. If you shrunk down the earth to the size of a pea, Jupiter would be 300m away, Pluto would be 2500m away (and the size of a bacteria), and our nearest star, Proxima Centauri, would be 16 000 km away. In fact, the scientific world postulates that space is about a million million million million miles across. But most still think it to be bigger. In this vast space there are about 140 million galaxies. Then there are almost an infinite amount of deadly occurrences and realities. A supernova, the name given to an exploding star, is deadly to anything within a radius of 500 light years. The massive, volatile and massiveness of our universe is simply astounding.
And God is the Lord and creator of all of this. David could see this truth, and with modern science, how much more can we see this truth. How the heavens declare the glory of God and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. So, the next time you find one of your 670 000 hours being ruled with anxiety, take a look up at the night sky. And you may find yourself starting to breathe easier remembering just how glorious God is, that he rules over the massive, volatile and massiveness of our universe yet cares for you and loves you, individually.