Have you ever looked up into the sky at night and tried to fathom how big the universe really is? According to a website hosted by NOVA, the PBS production, the universe is too big to see all of it.
They explain that light travels at 300,000 kilometers per second (186,000 miles per second). That’s top speed in this universe—nothing can go faster—but it’s relatively slow compared to the distances to be traveled. The nearest big galaxy to our Milky Way, the Andromeda galaxy, is two million light-years away. The most distant galaxies we can now see are 10 or 12 billion light-years away. We could never see a galaxy that is farther away in light travel time than the universe is old—an estimated 14 billion or so years. Thus, we are surrounded by a “horizon” that we cannot look beyond—a horizon set by the distance that light can travel over the age of the universe.
Now I may or not accept 14 billion years old age for the universe, but according to the best guesses of scientists, the universe is 28 billion light years long and still expanding. In fact scientist speculate it is much larger than that, which creates kind of a dilemma to them, how can it be bigger than we have had time for it to be. That is their problem to figure out, not mine. But is it any wonder that the psalmist wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”
But why did God make all of that space? Is it for us to explore, did He create other peoples and planets, is it just to confuse scientists and give them something to do? Well certainly there is much we don’t know, but I love what John Piper said about the size of the universe. “It is about the greatness of God, not the significance of man. God made man small and the universe big to say something about Himself.”
Yes, you and I maybe small, but He is big and He is looking out for you, take courage today.
Psalm 19 New International Version (NIV)
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.