Devotional Week 33 Friday
“Wait for the promise of the Father.”
Acts 1: 4
“Tarry at a promise till
God meets you there.
He always returns
By way of His promises.”
D. L. Moody
“In You, O Lord, do I put my trust and seek refuge: let me never be put to shame or have my hope in You disappointed; deliver me in Your righteousness.”
Psalm 31: 1
Today’s Study Text:
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows and proclaims His handiwork.”
Psalm 19: 1
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable.”
Isaiah 40: 28
How has my limited thinking about the greatness of my Father in heaven affected my ability to trust Him to solve the problems in my life?
When I ask for God’s help, do I ask for the least of His assistance or for the most?
“There is a treasury ‘not made with hands, eternal in heavens.’ It is a treasury of all possible good…This treasury is the power, wisdom, and goodness of God our Saviour, of whom the Psalmist saith, ‘The eyes of all wait upon Thee, O Lord, and Thou givest them their meat in due season.’ He possesses the abundance of all things, who speaketh and it is done, who commandeth and it is created. He is clothed with honour and majesty. All power and dominion are His in heaven and in earth. He governs and overrules all…He communes with the humble, and refreshes the weary soul. He is never at a loss, never without means. Every word of His’ blessing is full of benefits. To this all-sufficient, Almighty Father, as manifested to us in the person of Christ, we are directed to make known our every want.”
F. W. Krummacher
“The imagery of the heavens as being two thousand million light-years in diameter is awesome when compared to the tiny earth, but trivial when compared to the imagery of the ‘hand that measured the heavens.’”
Fulton John Sheen
Every month, I receive in the mail my printed copy of one of my favorite magazines called “Astronomy.” I want to be clear. I don’t understand most of the information contained in this mind-stretching publication. You might be saying to yourself, “Then why in the world does Dorothy get this periodical?”
There’s one reason – the information it contains amazes and overwhelms me. In the August, 2013 edition commemorating the magazines’ 40th year in publication, the lead article was about the “40 Greatest Astronomical Discoveries of All Time.” For example, in 1610, it was Galileo who discovered four moons circling the planet Jupiter. Up to that point in time, it was thought that earth was the “exclusive owner” of an orbiting moon. Here’s something else I found rather unusual. In the 1990’s astronomers began to recognize that “larger galaxies get built up when they collide with and devour smaller ones.” Galactic cannibalism is what the world of astronomy calls it. WOW! Galaxies eating galaxies, who could have imagined that!
And here’s a real dilly. In 1980, astronomers came to realize that the “contents of the universe are not spread smoothly throughout space. Clusters of galaxies bunch together along filaments separated by huge voids where few galaxies exist.” As I read this enlightening piece of information, I thought, “Well maybe even the galaxies are social and really want to be friends.” That’s my simple thinking for you.
Having started down the path using the number 40, the magazine then took on another fascinating topic, “The 40 Greatest Mysteries of the Universe.” Remember, these are articles written by people whose life is consumed with the study of what you and I call, “the sky.” What I found most notable at first about this article was the subtitle: “Astronomers know more about the universe than ever but still have much to learn.” You think? What an understatement for even in the short time I’ve read the magazine, new discoveries, which contradict previous held theories, have been uncovered. I just love the first mystery that begins this article with the question: “How big is the universe?” There’s a challenging query no one on earth can answer. In fact, here’s how Sarah Scoles, the author of the article chose to write about this challenging investigation as she shared the fact that today’s telescopes “can see galaxies whose light has been traveling almost 13.8 billion years.” She then continues her essay with this piece of informative data: “Because the universe is expanding at an accelerated rate, those galaxies are now some 46 billion light-years away.” This means that according to what the scientists know at this moment in time, the “observable universe,” what we can see with telescopes that are man-made, has a diameter of 93 billion light-years.” It’s enough to blow your mind! But here’s the kicker, even scientists will admit that there’s “plenty beyond.” They just don’t know how much. Well, so much for the brains that think they know it all.
Now you may be wondering, “Why is Dorothy giving me all this information, admittedly scanty, about astronomy? Aren’t we studying God’s word? And more close to home, what in the world does the subject of astronomy and the universe have to do with a poor widowed mom and her two boys thousands of years ago?”
I’ll tell you! A needy mom and God’s immeasurable universe have a lot more to do with each other than you might think at first glance.
I specifically chose the quote by Fulton Sheen at the beginning of today’s Inspiration because of the last phrase it contains: “The hand that measured the heavens.” Whose hand was that? The Psalmist David gives us the answer when he says: “When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; what is man, that Thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that Thou visiteth him?” (Psalm 8: 3,4, K.J.V.) I just love the way The Message Bible paraphrases these two verses: “I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous, your handmade sky-jewelry, moon and stars mounted in their settings. Then I look at my micro-self and wonder, ‘Why do you bother with us? Why take a second look our way?”
I think it was this very question a poor, debt-laden mom asked herself. Who am I? And then, she came to the conclusion that she was really nothing at all. Furthermore, she felt she had nothing at all. Maybe, you’ve come to the Garden today with the presumption that you, too, are nothing and have nothing. No job. No family. No home, No love. No friends. Nothing. And like the widowed mom, only some small insignificant jar holds what little you think you might have left. You could easily conclude that your debts are too big – too insurmountable. Your family problems are too complicated. Your marriage is too broken. Your health is too fragile.
And then you remember that Someone you know, the same person who had His eye fixed on a widowed mom, also is the same Someone who knows exactly how big the universe is. He even knows the very place you are in a universe scientists don’t really have a foggy notion about. And guess what, from our Father’s point of view, your problems are not only small – they are solvable, too.
I encourage you, as we come to the end of our study of the widowed mom please take a moment to stop and think about the miracle that God performed on her behalf, and then ask yourself this question, “Can God do the same for me?” But don’t stop there. Continue with this question, too, “Who knows how big the universe really is?” Gives you pause, doesn’t it!
The next time you or I try to limit the ability of our heavenly Father only to what we can comprehend, just remember all the astronomers who are still scratching their heads, trying to figure out the answers to the 40 mysteries they still haven’t answered about the universe.
Many years ago, I read a quote, during a time in my life when I was trying to limit God’s ability to solve the problems that were affecting “Dorothy’s World.” I’ve kept this tattered piece of paper with me in my wallet for it is a tremendous reminder that the Creator of heaven and earth, my Father, can do for me what I could never ever imagine or conceive: “Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us of which we know nothing.” That takes care of all my needs and yours, especially when the only thing we think we have is a nearly empty little jar of oil.
“The heavens are the mind of God, the systems are His word,
The message of the All-in-One, the Ever-Seen and Heard.
In planets He has marked His name, in galaxies His thought,
And the shapes of constellations are the dreams that He has wrought.
The star-swarms are His mirrors, and His glass the atom’s heart,
And earth’s a bright reflection of His never-resting art.
He thinks in woods and mountains, and the storm-wind is His sigh,
And He smiles in every daisy-face, and every violet’s eye.
In lakes and hills and rivers, in a bluejay’s twinkling wing,
In pattern of a maple leaf, and hawthorns white with spring,
In the green sculpture of a fern, a palm, a redwood tree,
His spirit moves to an old design the simple and pure may see.
The heavens are the mind of God, the systems are His word,
And He has left His signature on every bush and bird.
And deep within your breast and mine, though earth-clouds interfere,
The light of that which fires the stars is shining warm and clear.
Stanton A. Coblentz,
“O how great Thy loving-kindness,
Vaster, broader than the sea;
O how marvelous Thy goodness
Lavished all on me –
Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved,
Know what wealth of grace is Thine,
Know Thy certainty of promise
And have made it mine.
Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,
Satisfied my heart.
Satisfies its deepest longing,
Meets supplies my every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings:
Thine is love indeed.
Ever lift Thy face upon me
As I work and wait for Thee;
Resting ‘neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus,
Earth’s dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father’s glory,
Sunshine of my Father’s face,
Let Thy glory e’er shine on me,
Fill me with Thy grace.”
Jean Sophia Pigot
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus