He Numbers The Stars
Current blog post written by Becca Wellan. A devoted and caring friend who loves coffee and talking about Jesus. Oh, and did I mention she loves coffee?
"Twinkle twinkle, little star. How I wonder what you are."
I sing this lullaby to lull the sweet babies I nanny to sleep. I can’t sing, so this doesn’t always work. Each time I sing this song, I always think, these words are so odd. I’m no astronomer, by any stretch, but I’m pretty sure stars aren’t diamonds in the sky. I’m also quite positive they’re not little.
Have you ever laid on your back during a clear summer night in the middle of nowhere? Just to watch the stars. Just to see how small you really are. It’s amazing. You know, I tried counting all the stars, once. I believe I got to twenty-nine, then I got distracted.
One billion trillion; I was a little off. That’s the number of stars in the observable universe. That’s one billion trillion stars, in the ten billion galaxies we’ve found so far (like I can somehow take credit for this).
That’s a lot of stars.
I don’t know about you, but my view of God is very small. I mean, I know that God created the world, the universe, the one billion trillion stars, me. I know the stars are designed to show us His power and beauty. (I also believe He made them just for fun. Just to paint the sky for us. Just because He’s God, and He can). I know all these truths, but as my heart’s been breaking beneath the weight of my sin, I’ve learned that there’s a difference between “know” and “believe.” The difference between chains and freedom.
And I don’t believe that this God could truly love me. In my doubt, I’ve been drowning.
Does this God actually have a heart big enough to love all of me?
Enough power to truly forgive me?
Enough grace to rescue me?
Enough understanding to heal me?
Enough mercy to let my heart rest, filled up to overflowing with peace?
I don’t know about you, but my view of God is very small. There are days my sin takes a hold of my heart and my mind and yells so loud, with such strength, that this God who counts the countless stars seems to disappear.
Do you ever wonder if God could truly love someone like you? If being fully, totally forgiven for everything you’ve ever done or thought applies to everyone else, but certainly not you?
I don’t actually believe that God would love me enough to pour grace over the dark spaces in my mind. I don’t actually believe that I can rest in His forgiveness, without doing penance to earn His grace. I don’t actually believe Him when He said “it is finished.”
But this God, who created the universe and all its stars, will not remain silent. This morning, He broke through my doubts and spoke to me:
“He heals the brokenhearted,
And binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
He gives to all of them their names.” // Psalm 147:4.
Suddenly, I believed Him. If this God has enough power in His voice to tell the one billion trillion stars to shine, hanging them up like Christmas lights, then He must have enough power to heal my broken heart and bind up my wounds.
If this God is caring enough to name each and every one of the stars, then He must care enough to truly, completely, deeply, relentlessly love me.
To call me by name.
And, this God must have enough power to actually mean it when He hung on the cross and said “it is finished.”
“As far as the east is from the west,
so far does He remove our sin from us.” // Psalm 103:12.
As far as the east is from the west is pretty far, if you think about it. The edge of the observable universe is forty-six billion light years away. One light year is six trillion miles. It keeps going, and going, and going and no one knows where, or if, it ends.
When Christ died on the cross, the sin that separated us from Him is black-hole status gone. He has only grace for us, now. He is not disgusted by you. He is not ashamed of you. To endure your days as though Jesus is not powerful enough to forgive you is not just insulting, it will wreck you.
This morning, as I read these verses through my tears, I finally felt how absolutely adored I am. I could actually see myself wrapped in the arms of Jesus. Sobbing. Letting go of everything but Him. In that moment, I finally felt that I am more valuable to Him than one billion trillion stars. The weight of the guilt I’ve been carrying was lifted. All I could say was “I need you.”
“I know, sweet girl, I know,” He said. “That’s why I came down to rescue you.”
“When Satan tempts me to despair and tells me of the guilt within, upward I look and see Him there, who made an end of all my sin.”