Sand and stars

ships-vertA tropical sandy beach tempts me more than ever as snow falls and winds rise. Another winter storm in this season’s wearying series howls outside my window as I write.

Doesn’t this fine white sand look inviting?

My feet once sank into that powder as I walked across this beach and waded into the warm, jewel-colored sea. In the crystal clear water, tiny fish nibbled at my fingertips. Later I lounged in a shaded deck chair while my legs dried and sand crusted between my toes. A gentle breeze cooled my face and fanned my hair.

That was such a long time ago and so far removed from current circumstances, it seems almost like another life.

I’m thinking about sand and stars because these verses from Genesis 22 were part of my morning devotional reading:

And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore (15-17, ESV).

Consider sand. Seemingly inconsequential particles of bland stone, yet each grain is as beautiful as a delicate shell and as distinctive as an intricate snowflake.

You can view marvelous photos of magnified sand here, at the website of Dr. Gary Greenberg, who collects and photographs sand from around the world. Even though a couple captions mention “millions of years,” the exquisite beauty of these tiny gems testifies to the Creator who delights in unique beauty.

WISE Catches a Runaway Star in Flames Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team

Think about stars. They look small and cold, yet are huge suns of surging fire.

You can view more star images at the WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) online gallery. Or browse the amazing photos found at the NASA astrophysics image gallery.

Sadly, too many people fail to see God’s eternal power and divine nature in these images. They exchange God’s glory for big bang and evolutionary theories. Just as Paul writes in Romans 1.

The more science reveals the limits of natural explanations, the more secularists deny the truth. Like this National Geographic article bemoaning the demise of a theory, so the sun’s origin remains a mystery. That mystery would be easily solved by reading Genesis with a believing heart.

Scientific revelations show only what you are predisposed to see, as this week’s debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham clearly demonstrated. And I wrote about yesterday.

We’re all tiny specks in a vast cosmos. We invest in relationships that disappoint us. We pour ourselves into work that seems to go nowhere. Other writers successfully market books that mirror our manuscript ideas, beating us to the publishing punch and mimicking our titles.

Do you feel small? As insignificant as a grain of sand on an endless shore? Or as unimportant as a distant speck of light in the night sky?

Remember that God created each person as a particular individual, more beautiful and unique than a marvelous grain of magnified sand. He gave each person an eternal soul, more blazing and permanent than a fiery star.

If you believe that Jesus Christ saves you from the penalty for your sin and will return one day in glory to take you to your eternal home, you are part of the most marvelous beach in human history. You belong to the starry host of those whose robes have been washed in the blood of the Lamb. In that great company, you will enter the gates of the eternal city and have the right to the tree of life (Revelation 22).

Think of it!

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