The universe explained (yeah…right)

Do you realize that when you stare up at the sky at night, some of what you see may not even exist? Some of what your eyes behold, maybe even a good bit of it if the night is clear, is no more. As you’re looking at it. It’s not there.

No, it’s not just your imagination. It’s space…and lots of it. Spiral galaxyThe distances between our little planet and what appear as stars in the sky can be upwards of 2 million light-years away. So the Andromeda galaxy, which is the nearest major galaxy to our Milky Way, is about 15 quintillion miles away (that’s a 15 with 18 zeroes after it), which calculates to 2.3 million light-years, meaning that the light that hits our retina originated at Andromeda 2.3 million years ago. A lot can happen in 2 million years, including the last gasp of a million stars.

The Hubble telescope has captured images of galaxies 12 billion light-years away. Multiply that by one light-year at 5.88 trillion miles and you have an almost incomprehensible distance. And these are just the stars we can observe. Beyond our level of observation are certainly countless more.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” – Psalm 19:1


Most of us, I suspect, have only the faintest grasp of the enormity of the universe. Yet, enormity implies a measurement and a limit, and how can you measure what is constantly expanding? And what’s it expanding into? If it does have a limit, what’s outside of it?

The realization that as humans we can look up into the sky and neither imagine its limits nor comprehend its infinity is, I believe, one of the most powerful evidences for God. We know this universe is real but we also know we are incapable of completely understanding or explaining it. This strongly suggests something with intelligence greater than ourselves.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” – Ecclesiastes 3:11

If you want to feel really small, and have another five minutes or so, have a look at this video. But first…

“Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name.” – Isaiah 40:26a

And know that…

“Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar.”  Psalm 138:6