In Times Like These, Let’s Lift Up Our Eyes

During this pandemic, I have been checking the numbers every day. How many cases in the United States; how many deaths.

I check the stats for the cities where my children and grandchildren live, and the numbers where my wife and I live. I haven’t been with my children or grandchildren in person for almost 4 weeks now. The coronavirus is always on the news. When my wife and I go for a walk in our neighborhood, we cross the street every time someone is approaching us on our side.

But in times like these, I want to remember to lift up my eyes above the cares and worries of this life, to see the One who is in charge of it all.

The One who is greater than it all. We all need to do what Isaiah 40:26 tells us:

Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might and because he is strong in power, not one is missing. Isaiah 40:26

We need to lift up our eyes and focus on the One who created the stars and the galaxies. First, Isaiah says that God calls every star in the universe by name.

According to physics of the universe.com, “There are an estimated one hundred billion (100,000,000,000) stars in our own Milky Way galaxy, although some estimates range up to four times that many, much depending on the number of brown dwarfs and other very dim stars. A typical galaxy may contain anywhere between about ten million and one trillion stars.”

Did you catch that? In our galaxy, the Milky Way, there are 100 to 400 BILLION stars. No one knows exactly. That’s a pretty loose estimate – 100 to 400 billion. And that is just in ONE galaxy! Wikipedia says there are TWO TRILLION GALAXIES! How anyone can even begin to estimate that?  And where do scientists say the edge of the universe is?

Paul Sutter, an astrophysicist at The Ohio State University and the chief scientist at COSI (Center of Science and Industry ) Science Center, says we can’t observe any “edges” of the universe, but he says,

“And what’s outside our observable limit? That one’s easy: It’s just more stuff, like galaxies and black holes and new, fantastic varieties of cheese. It’s forever unreachable by us, sure — but it’s still over there.”

Wow, that’s a lot of great cheese! Sutter also says the universe is 13.77 billion years old. How in the world do scientists even guess that? Why not 13.76 billion years old?

But here’s the thing: God tells us in his word that he created EVERY SINGLE STAR, and he calls EACH ONE BY NAME, and because of his infinite power, NOT ONE IS MISSING. 

God knows the name of every single star in the universe. If we could soar past the view of any telescope, and pick a star, and ask God, what is this one named, He would immediately tell us. He knows the name of every star in the universe. And it is by His mighty power that not a single star ever goes missing.

In the book of Hebrews God says this about Jesus: 

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…Hebrews 1:3

Jesus upholds the whole universe by “the word of his power.” By a WORD! He doesn’t strain. He doesn’t get tired. He doesn’t need to take a break. 

Compared to the infinite greatness of God, the whole universe is but a tiny speck. Less than a speck. The universe, as big as it seems to us, is finite. God is infinite. 

Now, Isaiah wasn’t trying to give us a science lesson. His point was this: If God created every single star, and named each one, and never forgets a single star’s name, and upholds and sustains every single star, HOW MUCH MORE will He care for His children! If He remembers the names of every star HOW MUCH MORE does He know your name and He will never forget you!

In another passage in Isaiah, God says:

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Isaiah 49:15

God says that it would be extremely rare for a mother to forget her nursing child or fail to have compassion on her baby, although in this fallen world, it could happen. But God says, even though a loving mother might accidentally forget her child, He will NEVER forget His children.

Our mighty God, who upholds every single star in the universe, who called them all by name, and never forgets a single one, will never forget you or me.

Our God is infinitely great and sovereign over the whole universe, and this God knows every single one of us. And for every one of us who have believed in Jesus, He called us by name and He loves us with an everlasting love. If He poured out the blood of His Son to pay for our sins, will He not protect us during this pandemic? And even if He allows us to get sick and die, He will take us to himself in glory and wipe away every tear from our eyes and fill us with His infinite joy as we behold His unimaginable glory and beauty forever.

It is right for us to be concerned about this virus, and it is fine to follow the news and the numbers. But let us continue to lift up our eyes to the One who will never leave us or forsake us. Let us have compassion and pray for those who have suffered and lost loved ones in this horrible affliction. And let us ask Him to protect us and ours, and to have mercy on this world, and use this to turn multitudes to Him and save them. 

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.

7 thoughts on “In Times Like These, Let’s Lift Up Our Eyes”

  1. Amen, Mark! We need to learn to focus on the One who loves us most. He will continue to preserve and love us forever!

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  2. So true, timely, and helpful, Mark. Thanks for this.

    When my problems seem beyond repair,
    Stubborn troubles all that I can see,
    Jesus gives great cause for hopeful prayer:
    He who made the heavens cares for me.
    ..KH

    Reply
  3. Amen Mark! My family and I have not been affected by the COVID virus but I can’t even imagine (and dont’ want to) losing someone because of it. I pray that God will look over us and protect us during these hard times. I also pray that God will give strength to those who have been hurt…

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