By Brad Martin
May 19, 2019
How big is creation? How big is the universe? How big is everything? I don’t often think about it, but when I do, it blows my mind.
Deep Space - NASA The farthest star from Earth, with the highly imaginative name “SDSS J122952.66+112227.8″, is 55 million light years from earth. Since a light year equals 5.88 trillion miles, this star would be 323.4 million trillion miles away. If you got in the minivan and began to drive there, and if your children would ask, “Are we there, yet?” once every five miles, you would be certifiably insane before you got to Jupiter, so it doesn’t matter that they would repeat that question almost 65 million trillion times on the entire journey.
If the most distant star is 323.4 million trillion miles in one direction, there must be one in the opposite direction nearly the same distance away. Based on those calculations, the universe would be 636.8 million trillion miles across. In other words, I can’t wrap my mind around how big creation is.
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1 – English Standard Version)
God is bigger than the universe, so he must be at least 636.8 million trillion miles + 1. Buzz Lightyear would tell you that God is “infinity and beyond!”
Nehemiah prays, “You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them” (9:6 – ESV). The Apostles Creed affirms, “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.”
Scientists continue to discover new things about the origin of the universe. Three centuries before Christ, the philosopher Aristotle observed that everything is caused by something else. We also observe that truth. We did not just happen; we were caused by our parents, who were caused by their parents, who were caused by their parents, and so forth. Aristotle believed that while each cause is caused by a previous cause, there must be an uncaused cause. He called it a “prime mover” or that which moved without being moved.
The thirteenth-century theologian Thomas Aquinas, told us the name of this “prime mover” is God. God has no beginning nor end. God existed before the universe. God exists beyond the universe. God created everything from nothing. My mind cannot begin to fathom that or to comprehend the awesomeness of God. Whatever all of this creation is, God designed and made it, God is bigger than it, and God is more powerful than it.
Although the universe is huge, it is also intricately designed with microscopic parts. For example, a blood cell averages 7 micrometers in diameter. Since a micrometer is one millionth of a meter or about 0.000039 inches, a blood cell would be about one quarter of a hundred thousandth of an inch in diameter. You would have to squint really hard to see it. You heart pumps about six quarts of your 724 trillion blood cells every minute, so each one circumnavigates your body about once every minute. With so many of them, you can donate a 45 billion of them every eight weeks, but don’t plan to live if you give them all away. These intricately designed, precision engineered blood cells are essential to human existence. That totally boggles my mind.
The songwriter Stuart Hamlin asks and answers:
How big is God? How big and wide His vast domain
To try and tell, these lips can only start
He’s big enough to rule His mighty universe
Yet small enough to live within my heart
God is so huge and vast and powerful that he blows my mind. God is so intricate and essential that he boggles my mind.
Our only response to all this is to fall on our knees and offer our lives to God.
With the Psalmist, we pray: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:4 – ESV)