I admit it. I'm a star-gazer. You? I positively love looking at a dark night sky, filled to overflowing with tiny pin-pricks of light. Living out in the country, far, far away from city lights, I'm astounded on moonless nights how many, many stars I can see! And what's even more astounding is there are billions and billions of stars I can't see.
Did you know that new galaxies are being discovered as science and scientific knowledge increase? This latest discovery claims that "four unknown galaxy clusters, each potentially containing thousands of individual galaxies, have been discovered 10 billion light years from earth."
Can you imagine?! Four "new" galaxies that potentially contain thousands more galaxies! Wow!
I have to chuckle at the use of the word "discovered" as though we are the first to know about those galaxies. We aren't. God breathed them into existence. Angels no doubt enjoy their beauty. Maybe even the folks in heaven can look down and see them. We may be the first people on earth to know about them, but Someone knew about them the moment He created them.
So, with the discovery of new galaxies, and the potential for more discoveries of more galaxies in the future, it makes me wonder...exactly how far is the east from the west? What do I mean? Psalm 103:12 says, "...as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us."
Often people--including me-- read that verse and think in earthly terms. Spherically. Like, if you start out walking from your house and head east, will you eventually run into west? Even the Message Bible, which I love, says, "as far as sunrise is from sunset." But God is so much bigger than our little world here on earth. His thoughts are so much grander than ours. (Isaiah 55:8-9) When God tells us he has removed our transgressions--our sins--as far as the east is to the west, I believe he's speaking in terms similar to the discovery of new galaxies. Can these galaxies, added to the galaxies that are already known and those that are unknown, be measured? Can you go from the east of one galaxy and get to the west of another? I don't think so. As far as we know, all these galaxies go on and on and on, unending. Infinite.
That is the distance between God's east and west. Infinite. When we accept Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives and believe that his death on the cross freed us from our sins and paid our debt, God takes our transgressions and --- if you will indulge me --- balls them up into a tight wad like a piece of garbage and flings them as far as an all-powerful God can fling something.
As far as the east is to the west.
And once he has flung my sin and your sin away, do you think he's going to go searching through the galaxies and stars and planets to find them again? To remind you of how much you messed up? No. He's not. When God removes your transgressions, your sins, your screw-ups, your messes....they are gone! The enemy will remind you of them and try to make you feel unworthy and worthless, but God won't. Because once he has flung them into the infinite space that is 'the east to the west,' he chooses to remember them no more.
"I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." Isaiah 43:25
Next time you look up at the stars, rejoice in how far the east is to the west! Rejoice that God has removed your transgressions so far that they can never be found again. If you haven't asked Jesus into your heart and repented of your sins, you can right now. Then imagine God wading up all those sins and flinging them across the galaxies!
Hmm, I wonder if that shooting star I saw the other night is actually someones transgressions flying through the galaxy? ;)
This week's Prayer Shout-Out countries are:
USA, Sweden, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Ghana, India