We have a tendency to view ourselves as the center of the universe, and sometimes feel that we have problems that are overwhelming. But the truth is that our minds can’t fully grasp the vastness of the universe, and by extension, the vastness of our God. If the purpose of this universe was to be a home for you and me, it is grossly oversized. But that isn’t its purpose. Scripture tells us in Psalm 19:1 that the heavens declare the glory of God. Based on the vastness of the universe, we have grossly undersized how big our God truly is.
God spoke all of this into existence. He simply said “Let there be…” Can you imagine a ball of fire the size of our sun, coming forth just from the commands of His lips? Our sun is a huge ball of flaming gas, so large that if it were an empty ball it would take 1,300,000 earths to fill it.
On earth, we have our measurements – a foot, a yard, if we want to get big, we count in miles. God’s measuring stick is in light years. At 186,000 miles per second, one light year is 5.88 trillion miles. Our beautiful blue planet is just under 25,000 miles around the equator, so light could circle the earth about seven times in one second. Do that sixty times in a minute, then do that sixty more times for an hour, then 24 times for the hours in a day, then 365 times for each day in a year. The number becomes mind-boggling within seconds. Imagine that going on for thousands of years.
Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is estimated to be 100,000 light years from one end to the other, and our sun is just one of billions of stars in it. If we were to count one star per second, 24 hours a day, it would take 2,500 years to count all the stars in the Milky Way galaxy. To show the size of our solar system, our sun and its planets, compared to the size of our entire galaxy, imagine our solar system as the size of a quarter. Now throw the quarter on the floor – how many of those could you line up side by side to cover every square inch of your house? How many more to cover every square inch of your yard and driveway? Now imagine this: the size of our solar system is roughly equal to the size of a quarter compared to the size of the entire North American continent – Canada, the US, and Mexico put together.
Scientists believe that there are at least several Billion galaxies in the universe. Galaxies often group together by gravitational pull in what is known as a super cluster of galaxies. Within the super cluster are located smaller clusters. The Milky Way isn’t even the biggest galaxy in our “local” cluster. Our earth holds seven continents. If our solar system is the size of a quarter to one of those continents, then imagine our size compared to a planet big enough to have billions of continents. It is far more than our humans minds can comprehend.
We don’t know how big the universe is. Scientists have been able to see stars that are 14 billion light years away, so they know that the universe is at least 28 billion light years in diameter. And it is getting bigger. Scientists estimate that a new star is “being born” every second.
So how big is God? We are told in Psalm 147:4 that He numbers the stars and calls them by name. We are less than a speck of dust on a planet that is less than a speck of dust, yet he knows the number of hairs on each one of our heads (Matthew 10:30). From now on, every time you see a quarter, I want you to remember two things: God is much bigger than you give him credit for, and your problems are much smaller than you imagine they are.
Have you ever wondered how you could share the gospel easily to a stranger? Here is a perfect opportunity. Whenever you are making change in a store and you get or give a quarter, why not tell the clerk about the size of your God? And as you walk out the door, why not offer up a small prayer, apologizing to God for making him out to be smaller than He is, and asking him to show you how small your problems really are.