DayBreaks for 9/29/17: Stars and Fear
From the DayBreaks archive, 9/2007:
I love the mountains. I love the ocean. I love the forests. I love redwoods. But there isn’t much of anything, not even the Pacific Ocean, that makes me gasp in wonder as much as staring up thoughtfully at the night sky. The vastness, the coldness of space plays tricks with my frail human mind. I can’t even begin to grasp it. When I stand on the beach at the edge of the Pacific, I can touch it, I can feel it, I can taste and smell it in the air. But I can’t do that with space. As vast as the Pacific is, I can get some sense of its size by flying over it for hours on end. Try that with the universe.
It’s really strange – the stars don’t go away in the daytime, you know. It’s just that because of the brightness of the sun, we can’t see them. They’re still there – blazing away. Every second of the day and night the sun alone burns 700,000,000 tons of hydrogen and converts that into 695,000,000 tons of helium and 5,000,000 tons of energy in the form of gamma rays. At the center of the sun the temperature is 15,600,000 degrees Kelvin. That’ll cook a hot dog for you…really fast.
I could go on with facts and figures about the sun for a long, long time. I never tire of the wonder of it all – the immensity. And to think it all came into being by the words, “Let there be…” Wow.
I could wander among the stars ceaselessly, mesmerized by the beauty of that part of God’s creation. (In case you like to do that, too, you can go to this web site for incredible deep space pictures: http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/.)
But space is dark, and space is hostile. It is not a place for the timid or those concerned about security. Not everyone is cut out to be an astronaut. And stars are only seen by night.
I can get frightened by sounds I hear in the dark house at night, or sounds that seem to be just outside the bedroom window. Night time is a time to be scared, but it is also when the stars can be seen. An American astronomer spoke these wonderful words: I have lived among the stars for too long to fear the night. Oh, how I like that! It makes me think of the Jesus’ words in Revelation 22:16 (NIV) – I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.
Living in the Presence of that Star will be the most awesome of all. Here, we see through a glass darkly, but then, oh praise God, then – we shall see face to face! And there is no reason to fear the night, for there will be no more night…just the brightest Star of all, shining in glory eternally!
PRAYER: Lord, you tell us that our lives are like a vapor that is here one moment and gone the next. You have filled our lives with people – some we enjoy, others we don’t – and with moments to make a difference for eternity. What a privilege you have given to us! May we use life wisely before the vapor that is our days is gone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.