DayBreaks for 9/29/17 – Stars and Fear

Multiwavelength Crab Nebula

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.

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DayBreaks for 6/27/14 – He Thinks About You

DayBreaks for 6/27/14 – He Thinks About You

Psalm 8:3-4 (MSG) 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?

Psalm 8:3-4 (NLT) When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place— what are people that you should think about them, mere mortals that you should care for them?

I wonder if there has ever been any human being in full possession of their faculties who has not sat under the starry sky on a dark night and been spellbound with amazement?  Sure, the ancients had no concept of how many stars there are in the universe nor of the vast distances that their light has traversed to paint their image on our retinas, but I’m nearly certain that we’ve all been captured by the majestic night sky!

When I sit under the stars with all the lights far away, even with my fading vision, I feel so infinitesimally small and insignificant.  If my body were to be thrown into space by a sudden upheaval of the earth’s crust, I’d be far smaller and occupy a much tinier space than a grain of sand in the Pacific Ocean.  And I echo the words of David, “Why?  Why, God, do you even both to take a second look in my direction?”  There is perhaps nothing more humbling.  Maybe that’s why He created space so immense – to teach us the difference between us and Him.

Helmut Thielicke says that during World War II, his students often wrote from the battlefield saying, “I am so exhausted from marching, my stomach is so empty, I am so plagued with lice and scratching, I am so tormented by the biting cold of Russia and so dead tired, that I am totally occupied, without the least bit of inner space for any speculative thinking.” Sometimes they would write that they were too weak to leaf through the Bible and were even lazy about the Lord’s Prayer. Dr. Thielicke would reply, “Be thankful that the Gospel is more than a philosophy. If it were only a philosophy, you would just have it as long as you could keep it in mind and it could afford you intellectual comfort. But even when you can no longer think about God, he still thinks about you.”

Today you may feel small.  Insignificant.  Microscopic.  Unimportant.  Worthless.  Alone in a vast sea of humanity and cosmic dust.  If Scripture is to be believed (and I do believe it), though we are small, we are not insignificant to God.  Though we are microscopic, we are not invisible to Him.  Though we are unimportant in the great scheme of things, we matter to Him.  Though we are worthless in comparison, He finds us priceless.  And though we may feel alone…we never are.

We are held in not just His thoughts, but in His heart, not just for now, but for forever!

PRAYER: Thank You for “seeing” and thinking of us and believing we are of such great worth that You gave everything for us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen, a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI), raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

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DayBreaks for 11/13/13 – Where Angels Fear to Tread

DayBreaks for 11/13/13 – Where Angels Fear to Tread

Luke 1:11-13 (NLT) – While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. 12  Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. 13  But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John.

Have you ever noticed how humans are terrified by angels when they appear in their real form?  It happens over and over throughout the Bible.  So why is it that we picture angels as fat little cherubs, or as if they were Hollywood Barbie Angel or fashion models (see here and here and here)?

I will say, rather confidently, that if angels looked like those things that not once would any of the angels have to say, “Don’t be afraid!”  My guess is that, while no one knows what an angel looks like, this particular angel, Gabriel by name (thought by some to be the angel of death) might look  something like this – which would explain the fear factor when mere mortals see him!

Further down in the text, Zechariah questions the message and is told, “I am Gabriel!  I stand in the very presence of God!”  This is a rebuke from this mighty angel.  Yet, even Gabriel falls to the ground in the Presence of God Almighty!

How strange it is that of all the creatures in creation, it appears that only Satan and his demons, and unrepentant mankind refuses to worship Him!

How long has it been since you’ve been on your knees in the Presence of God?

PRAYER: Almighty God, sometimes we treat you as if you are just another buddy, though a slightly larger version of an earthly friend!  How cavalierly we banter about Your Name!  How relaxed we are in our respect for You!  Forgive our insolence!  We fall before You, in fear and trembling, yet in full trust of Your ultimate goodness and salvation!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!