He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
Psalm 147:4 (NIV)
I was a child of the Apollo missions. Born in 1966, I was a toddler when Apollo 11 landed man on the moon and came to age at a time when being an astronaut was top on every boy’s list of what he wanted to be when he grew up. In fact, the front page of the Des Moines Register from July 21, 1969 is framed and hangs in the hallway just outside my office.
Perhaps that’s why I’ve alway had a fascination with the stars. As a child I loved it each year when the family would vacation in the boundary waters of northern Minnesota far from the lights of the city. I would sit with friends on the end of the dock at night and stare up at more stars than I’d seen in my entire life, occasionally to the eery glow of the Northern Lights. Even last week as Wendy and I cruised the Caribbean we spent part of each evening out on the verandah looking up at the stars and marveling at immensity of God’s creation.
It became news last week that scientists have discovered a host of new planets, a handful of which they believe to have similar life-sustaining properties as our Earth. I thought about that this morning as I read the lyrics of Psalm 147 and the thought of our Creator God knowing each star by name. Whenever I contemplate the enormity of the expanding universe I find myself feeling very small and insignificant. It helps to remember that not only does God know all of the stars by name, but Jesus said even the number of hairs on our head are known (of course, in my case, God spends less mental energy on that number as time goes on!).
This morning I find my heart humming the words of a modern psalm: “God’s eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.”