Star Struck

As a child, I loved lying on my back on warm summer nights and looking up at the stars. The night sky is a perfect canvas for a child’s imagination to scribble on; it sure beats an iPad. Were the stars looking back at me? Could I reach them in a hot air balloon? I imagined cities and civilizations out there, creatures with tentacles and big eyes hurtling toward us in flying saucers. Or perhaps the aliens would be cute and cuddly. Maybe one would land in my backyard and I would keep it as a pet. Sometimes my brothers pointed out constellations. “That big cluster over there is Bert the water buffalo. That long squiggly line with the scoop on the end. That’s the big slipper, I think.”

As the years passed, my fascination with the night sky continued to grow. I learned that our humble Milky Way galaxy contains somewhere between 100 and 200 billion stars. And if you leave the Milky Way, you’ll find billions upon billions of galaxies. Smart people say there might be as many as three sextillion stars in the universe (that’s 3 followed by 23 zeros).

Our star, the sun, is so big you could barely squeeze 1.3 million Earths inside it. But as stars go, our sun is just a little fellow. The largest star our telescopes have discovered is UY Scuti. If I was to name it, I’d call it YU sohuge. If you wrapped a measuring tape around Scuti, it would have to reach 4.7 billion miles (that’s 7.5 billion kilometers). Scuti is an estimated 21 billion times the volume of our sun. Yet it’s is only a tiny speck on God’s vast tapestry of space.

Each morning at breakfast, I read from a little devotional book, a collection of Bible verses. This morning, it spoke of the stars. Listen: “The heavens are telling the glory of God. They are a marvellous display of His craftsmanship. Since earliest times, men have seen the Earth and sky and all God made, and have known of His existence and great eternal power. He never left Himself without a witness. Day and night, they keep on telling about God. Without a sound or word, silent in the skies, their message reaches out to all the world. When I look up into the night skies and see the work of Your fingers – the moon and the stars you have made – I cannot understand how you can bother with mere puny man, to pay any attention to him.”

Tell me why would we fear anything we face today when the God who created all this loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for us? Let’s thank Him today.

Phil Callaway

Phil Callaway, the host of Laugh Again, is an award-winning author and speaker, known worldwide for his humorous yet perceptive look at life.

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