the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them? (Psalm 8:3-4)
They say that opposites attract, and for the most part, that’s true. My wife and I tend to have different mindsets and tend to view things differently. I am a big picture kind of guy. If I start a project, I don’t worry about the steps from point A to point B, because I can see the finished product in my mind. I don’t struggle with concepts and getting the big idea. I can easily catch pattern because I see how common things weave together. But I am also a horrible planner. Because I get the big idea, sometimes I forget to ask simple but important questions. Sometimes I miss out on the little things that can make a difference.
My wife, on the other hand is a details person. If she starts on a project, she has a detailed outline and an a step by step plan. She thinks of the simple questions to ask before making a big commitment. She has no problem catching the subtle things that make a difference. But sometimes she gets overwhelmed in the details. Sometimes she needs clarification to help understand the concept or big idea. Sometimes misses out on a pattern.
Neither one of these ways of seeing the world (big picture or detailed view) are correct nor incorrect. As I’ve outlined, they both have their positives and they both have their drawbacks. And although the differences in viewpoints has created conflicts from time to time, I really do appreciate the way my wife can see things in such great detail. And I’m actually glad that, even though my wife and I do share a lot of commonality (like our love for Jesus), we see and experience things in a different way. It creates contrast.
Unlike my wife and I, God sees things both in detail and the big picture. It’s apparent throughout His entire creation. Let’s look at how God sees things in detail, like the atom for example. The simplest atom is the Hydrogen atom, with just one proton in the nucleus and one electron orbiting the nucleus. If I were to draw a circle ½ inch in diameter to represent the hydrogen’s proton and drew things out to scale, you would find the electron orbiting the nucleus about a half of a mile away (1)! Scientists are still figuring out the forces that hold the atoms together. And now think about this, there are 25,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms on a pencil tip (2). Atoms combine to form elements, elements combine to form compounds. All of these being held together by unimaginable force. And these compounds make up protein, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA), Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) and a whole host of other complex chemistry. Proteins, DNA, RNA, these things make up the nucleus mitochondria, plastids, golgi bodies, etc… which make up a cell. Cells make up organs. Organs make up the digestive system, nervous system, and circulatory system. Just imagine all the intricate detail that goes into making your body. No wonder why David declared, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13-14)!
Now let’s get into the big picture here. We are flying on a ball of rock called Planet Earth at a speed of 67,062 miles per hour around the sun (3) and even at 67,062 mph, it takes the earth 365.25 days to make one full circle around the sun. Light travels 186,282.4 miles per second, yet it takes light from the sun eight full minutes to get to the earth. The nearest star is Proxima Centauri which is about 4.2 light years away, in other words, light traveling from Proxima Centauri at the speed of 186,282.4 miles per second takes 4.2 years to reach earth (4). Now our sun is just one of about 400 billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy and the Milky Way Galaxy is 100,000 light years across (5). Okay, now the Milky Way is just one galaxy in an estimated 200 billion galaxies (6).
Has your mind been blown yet? Because, you’re mind will be really blown, Isaiah 40:12 says, “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?” Did you catch that, God measured out the universe (all estimated 200 billion galaxies) with the span of his hand. What a big and amazing God we serve!
Psalm 147:4-5 say, “He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.” I am not going to even try to estimate how many stars there are in the 200 billion galaxies, and yet God knows all the stars by name! But even more, Jesus said that God even knows the number of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30)! Did God just get a whole lot bigger to you?
And we struggle with our worries and our problems. With a God big enough to measure the universe in His hand yet knows us so intimately, is there any reason to worry or be anxious. If you’ve let worry and anxiety overcome your life, I would dare say that your image of God is far too small and you’ve made God spelled with a big “G” into god with a little “g” and made the Most Holy God into an idol.