Two things in the natural world blow my mind, two things that amaze me, two things that, when I contemplate them, I can never fully comprehend what they involve. I stand in awe, just meditating on them. What are they? The first one is…
I remember the first time I began to consider the question of space. I grew up in Australia. As a teenager, I remember our youth group went for what we called a midnight hike (by the way, this was in a time when the youth did not have cars). As we walked along, the youth group leader commented about the heavens, stars, and space. suddenly the thought came to me, “Where does it stop?” Is there a wall that marks the end of space? Of course not! I suddenly realized space is endless, no limits; it continues on for what is called “light-years.”
I later began to reflect on what the Bible had to say about space. It starts with Genesis chapter 1 (NIV) “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” In other words, the universe as we know it.
A verse in the book of Psalms speaks of the nature of God. Psalm 91:1 (NIV) says, “The heavens declare the glory of God.” There is something glorious in recognizing the greatness of the heavens, space, and then the glory of God that it reveals.
The concept of space is awe-inspiring. Have you ever contemplated space?
TIME AND ETERNITY
The second natural thing that blows my mind was time. Growing up, you ever so gradually begin to grasp the significance of time. You learn that the time we know is broken up into years, and years are broken up into seasons, weeks, and days. This is a man’s experience of time, and we begin to comprehend its three dimensions: past, present, and future.
But think about it this way. Where did it start, and when will it finish? Now the Bible tells us it began with creation “In the beginning, God…” (Genesis 1:1, NIV) but then presupposes God existed before he created the universe in what we deem eternity.
We also know that time will end. The Bible declares that the physical universe is not eternal, but God is.
One of the great concepts concerning time and eternity is seen in Jesus’s words in John 8:58 (NIV), where He said, “Before Abraham was born, I am!” Now, Abraham lived years before Jesus came. Normally, one would say, “Before Abraham was born, I was.” Meaning, He existed before Abraham, but instead, Jesus says, “I am.” Why? Because He is eternal. This speaks to us of eternity, both past and future. To try to fully comprehend all that time involves blows your mind. We live in man’s time – history, but God lives in eternity. He is the eternal one – He exists. Have you ever contemplated eternity?
ETERNITY WRITTEN ON WALKWAYS
Growing up in Australia, I often saw one word written in yellow chalk in a beautiful lettering style on the streets in downtown Sydney. The word was “eternity.” From 1930-1955, for 25 years, no one knew who was writing these words until it was discovered that it was an ex-alcoholic named Arthur Malcome Stace. Arthur had been converted under the ministry of John Ridley when he had preached about eternity. So much so, he was concerned as to where others would spend eternity. Although he was illiterate and could hardly write his own name, Arthur was able to write the word “eternity” in beautiful copperplate script.
MAN, TIME, AND SPACE
The psalmist David reflected on this when he wrote in Psalm 8:3-4 (NKJV) (See also Hebrews 2:6) “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?”
The great God of all creation, the God of heaven and earth, and all eternity has chosen to ‘visit’ us in the coming of His son Jesus, born of a virgin, lived among us and eventually died for us on Calvary’s tree.
This also blows my mind more than anything else. To think that the God of all time and space, so mighty, so awesome, so magnificent, so powerful, would lower Himself to come in the form of a baby and live a life here as we do, and eventually offer up His life for ours through His sacrificial death. It blows my mind.
THE GOD OF TIME AND SPACE IS CONCERNED AND INVOLVED IN EACH AND EVERY BELIEVER’S LIFE
These things blow my mind as I contemplate the greatness of our God. God has promised His followers that He would never leave them or forsake them (Hebrews 13:5, NKJV). Jesus also declared in Matthew 28:20 (NKJV), “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” It blows my mind that the awesome God of all creation is interested in you and me.
God, because He is God, is able to relate to all His children all over the world, personally and intimately, all at the same time. For such is our God; He is awesome. It is almost unbelievable to realize that God, the infinite God of time and space, is involved with billions of people all at the same time. All this makes you think, “How big is our God?” Why, Jesus even taught that God sees every sparrow that falls and knows the number of hairs on your head (Luke 12:6&7) (See also Psalm 90, Psalm 139, Psalm 144:3).
YOUR GOD IS TOO SMALL
Years ago, a British clergyman by the name of J.B. Philips wrote a book entitled “Your God is Too Small,’ in order to enlarge our concept and understanding of the God that we worship and serve that we can know Him personally.
The purpose of this Langstaff Letter is to do just that. To cause you to lift your eyes to both see and comprehend afresh the greatness of our God, the God of eternity, both space and time, who is awesome. A God so great it is ultimately beyond our ability to fully comprehend (we will have to wait until we get to heaven). The God who out of love sent His only begotten Son to live and die for us to reconcile us to Himself and who has promised to be with us every step of the way along this life’s way.
How great is your God?
How big is your God?
Our God is an awesome and mighty God, and He is in control of our lives and history. In this election time, whatever the results may be, He is still working out His purposes, He is still God, and He is in control!
Just a beautiful thought for Friday Morning. Time space and eternity. Did you realise that on the change from 1900’s to 2000 Sydney’s New Years Eve fireworks display concluded with the word ETERNITY displayed across the Bridge in exactly the same printed style that Arthur Malcome Stace had used years before. The newspapers were full of explanations as to why the organisers used the word in that special way. Our God is great and Good and always leaves His mark for all to see.. And to respond.
Lower Snug ,
I think I have not so much thought of Jesus declaring Himself to be eternal but as declaring Himself to be God (which is basically the same thing), because He was using the same declaration God used at the burning bush to Moses. “Tell them I Am has sent me. . .This is my name forever.”
The following, written by me, was published in an area-wide school publication when I was 16.
What is this thing called time,
that eternal being we cannot catch and hold,
or when it stays too long cannot make depart?
What is this thing called the universe,
whose boundaries are imaginative and dissolve with increasing knowledge.
What is this thing called life,
whose spiritual essence marches onward into greater happier realms.
Time dwells in the universe, and life is the child of time
who measures our stay upon this earth
and sends us off at the appointed hour into eternity.
I also wrote the following recently because I sometimes do some deep thinking after prayer when I can’t fall asleep at night. These are things I can’t comprehend because humans are locked in a different realm. And it also blows my mind regarding the awesomeness of God.
QUESTIONS FOR GOD
It is said you’ve existed forever. What is forever?
You created everything that exists. Where were you when you created everything that exists?
If you were outside the universe, which is most logical, where was that, and what does it look like? Because in human thinking, everything that exists has to be somewhere, and everything has to have a beginning and an end, and it all needs a place to be.
Is heaven within or outside the universe?
Where is the universe? If the universe is expanding, as scientists believe, what and where is the space into which it is expanding?
Were you alone before you created the universe and people? Or were the angels always with you? And at what point in forever did you decide to create the universe and us?
What exactly is life?
If you have any answers to this, let me know. Mary Jo Mosher in Becker.