Genesis l:28, God says “…replenish the Earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over…every living thing that moveth upon the Earth.” He did not say anything about exploring outer space. The tour guide at the space center informed us of the several layers of material in space suits. He said, “If a pin were pushed all the way through the suit and removed, the astronaut would die within minutes (10?).”
There was concern when the first men went to the moon that they would bring back a virus that could not be controlled on Earth. They need not have worried: absolutely nothing can live outside of Earth’s atmosphere…not even a tiny germ!
The observable universe is about 40 billion light-years in diameter. One light-year is the distance light travels in a year, or about 6 trillion miles; so the total distance across our known universe is about 240 billion trillion miles. Light travels about 186,000 miles per second—to flash around the world nearly 8 times in one second. It takes 8-1/2 minutes to come from the Sun which is 93 million miles away. Did you know that Alpha Centauri, the closest star to our solar system is 4.2 light years away, or 24 trillion miles? It would take one million years to reach it, traveling in the fastest rocket known to man. It may not even still be there! Stars are so far apart just within one galaxy. The Milky Way, which contains 100 billion stars like the sun, is only one of 10 billion or so galaxies in the universe. As wide as the void is between stars in the Milky Way (5 light-years), the distance between galaxies is an even more staggering 2 million light-years. This was a fascinating study for me and very interesting how they arrive at these measurements. Even more interesting are the discoveries of amazing facts about the Earth.
If the earth were moved a few million miles closer to the sun, the surface of the earth would become warmer causing our glaciers to melt. If the earth were a few million miles farther from the sun, more of our planet would be covered by ice. The earth is just the proper distance from the sun to maintain the right surface temperature suitable for life and the many important geologic processes.
The earth’s axis of rotation is tilted 23-1/2 degrees relative to the perpendicular of the earth’s plane of orbit. This tilt causes the four seasons. If the earth had no tilt, only the mid-latitudes would be comfortable for human habitation and suitable for cultivation. Only about one half of our presently farmable lands could grow crops. If the earth had double the present tilt, life on most of the earth’s surface would become intolerable with unbearable heat, frigid cold and prolonged darkness. If the earth rotated more slowly we would have more extreme day and night temperatures. The 24-hour day seems to be the most favorable for growth and reproduction. We could hardly improve on the present tilt and rotation which seems to be planned for both comfort and economy.
The earth’s atmosphere is composed of four important gases: nitrogen, oxygen, argon gas and carbon dioxide gas. These are all in perfect balance. Oxygen in more than trace amounts has not been discovered in the atmosphere of any other planet. The atmosphere serves to filter out ultraviolet light and cosmic rays. Earth has the correct surface temperature, proper density and the proper size. How, except by divine planning and design could it have been thusly formed?
Ocean currents caused by the earth’s rotation serve to circulate seawater and prevent the equatorial seas from becoming too hot and the polar seas from becoming too cold and freezing completely. No other planet is known to have a permanent supply of liquid water—evidence of God’s planning and foresight.
The composition of the earth’s crust shows God’s wisdom. We have lofty continents along with deep ocean basins. A constant elevation would cause the earth to be covered with approximately 8,000 feet of water! The ocean with a constant elevation earth would be nearly void of life.
The Voyager spacecraft recently sent back to Earth photos that were taken from four billion miles away. In the vastness of space, and at that distance, Earth is a tiny dot on the photo, and I would be a microscopic one. Only Earth has life in all this outer space. The central message of the Bible is that God so loved the people on this tiny ball in space that He sent His Son Jesus to bring insignificant individuals like you and me to Himself (John 3:16).
He loves us. He cares about us. Every one of us is important to Him.
I was sad that June morning. My daughter had moved away to Florida. My son fell off a ladder and crushed his left foot. He must lie on his back 4-6 months with the foot elevated to save it. My 17-year-old granddaughter ran away. We don’t know where she is. Adding a few minor items, I could slip into depression. I walked outside, looked up at the majestic oak trees in my yard and praised God for the good things in my life. He knew about the sad things.
I once had the most beautiful yard in the neighborhood. Blooming shrubs and flowers outlining my home and entire yard, including the vacant adjoining lot. Now, there was nothing but grass. All the flower beds have been gone since the 80’s, when I could no longer take care of them. Nothing blooming anywhere…just magnolia, redbud and oak trees. I thanked God for my home. I love it. We own three lots. Our 3,000 sq. ft. home covers two of them. Parties every month with lots of theme decorations for entertaining Canasta players on Saturday night; my Sunday School Class the next week, and the teenagers the following Saturday night. Much laughter and happiness. Reminiscing of children playing in the “field” and on the big swing set at the back near the four-foot brick wall which also encloses the patio behind our house.
I was standing in my driveway 75 feet from this brick fence where I saw a pink flower. I was curious. What kind? A wild flower? I walked over to discover a pink rainlily. I was astonished…filled with sudden wonder. I think it was in the early 60’s when we lived in Hidden Valley that we took a trip to Lampasas, Texas to visit Jack’s Aunt Ruth. She had flower beds bordered with red and pink lilies. She gave me a few clumps of the bulbs. They bloomed and multiplied for years. I transplanted some of them in our present flower beds. The red lilies still come up through the grass. In the 80’s, the pink lilies disappeared. Unbelievable that one of them should pop up after all these years!!!
My spirits lifted. “Thank you, Lord. I couldn’t be happier to receive this lovely flower. I don’t know why they quit blooming 15 or 20 years ago. By now, the bulbs would have rotted in the ground. This is a miracle that only You could give me.” Then, I lifted my eyes to the corner of my property. A sucker from the redbud tree had leaned over touching the ground. Its leaves spread out like a fan to hide a dozen more pink lilies scattered about haphazardly around
the area. My eyes became misty with tears. I felt like I was treading on holy ground as I felt God’s presence handing me a bouquet of pink lilies. Truly a miracle. Where else could they come from, but from Him? God loves me. He cares. He gives me flowers. I felt the peace that only He can give.
Wanda will be happy in Florida. We’ll talk often on the telephone. She’ll be home for Christmas! Ronnie’s foot will heal. It will take time. He has suffered much. Each day it will get a little bit better. God was with him through cancer in 1997. He’ll see him through this. My granddaughter has been in touch with her dad. She is o.k. She did not want to move away from her friends, her sweetheart and her musical band. Florida was too far away from her “world” here. She chose to be on her own. I pray every night that she will call me.
“O come, let us sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great king above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is His also. The sea is His, and He made it: and His hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand” (Psalm 95:1-7).
> Pink Lily