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Keep Looking Up

8He who alone stretched out the heavens

   and trampled the waves of the Sea;* 

9who made the Bear and Orion,

   the Pleiades and the chambers of the south; 

10who does great things beyond understanding,

   and marvellous things without number…

   Who will say to him, “What are you doing?”  Job 9:8-9, 10


Job was a careful watcher of the night sky. The stars proclaimed to him the glory of God.Job could have traced for you the star clusters of Orion, Pleiades, and others beside.  

Starting in late 2003,astronomers looked in the direction of the star cluster Orion, within the constellation of Fornax. They pointed the Hubble Space Telescope toward a patch of dark sky that to ground-based telescopes appeared empty. With the orbital telescope they made a tiny pinprick in the night that represented only 1 ten millionth of the sky. Over a period of twelve days spread out over four months, they snapped a photo that some scientists have called the most important picture every taken. It is the farthest we’ve ever seen into the universe, a deep-core sample of creation, cutting across billions and billions of years. The astronomers said they were not prepared for what the picture revealed. In what had been thought to be a dark and empty part of space they saw galaxies and galaxies everywhere. As far as they could see, galaxies!

They tell us, that our neighborhood galaxy, the Milky Way Galaxy, is an average size galaxy, about 100,000 light years in diameter.The Milky Way Galaxy contains, along with our sun, an estimated 100 thousand million stars. Write that another way: it is 100,000,000,000 stars making up our back yard. If you tried to count the stars in just our galaxy, and counted at the rate of 1 star every second, it would take you over 3,170 years to count them all. 

Then imagine if you can, far beyond our galaxy, as astronomers tell us there are millions upon millions of other galaxies. Carl Sagan said in his famed PBS series,The Cosmos: “There are more stars in the universe than grains of sands on the earth.”   Think about that the next time you’re lounging at the beach or trekking across the desert….yes, more stars than grains of sand!

Four thousand years ago, Job was wrestling with God about the things going wrong in his life. He was struggling with the Almighty over the way He was running the world. Then Job stopped his tossing and turning, went outside his tent, and there under the night sky he bowed and worshipped his Creator and Redeemer. For a moment Job was lost in wonder in the presence of Him “Who alone stretched out the heavens.”  And then Job understood, “Who will say to Him, ‘What are you doing?’”   

Yes!  Our lives are part of something astoundingly magnificent and glorious that God is doing. Far beyond our ability to grasp or imagine!

For an incredible picture of our planet earth go to  A Pale Blue Dot on the Internet. See and wonder at this photo of the earth taken by Voyager 1 in 1990 from 4 billion miles away. Job was right. “He does great things beyond understanding.”  


Tim Smith  

P. S. For details on how you can participate in a Book Forum on the novel, “The Shack,” go to www.www.waterfromrock.org.  “The Shack” is a top of the best sellers book that wrestles with the problem of evil and suffering in God’s good universe. 

Weekly Classes with Tim Smith – Every Wednesday At the Franciscan Renewal Center    (Garces Room of Piper Hall)

Wednesday Noon – 1:00 P.M.             Jesus’ Teaching on the Spiritual Life:  John 13-17

Wednesday Evening 7:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.         Soulful Living: Everyday Spirituality for Busy People

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