Sunday, September 28, 2014

God Has Not Left Us Alone

Are we alone?

This is a question many of us ask when we gaze up at the stars at night.

While we many never know if alien beings inhabit the planets circling one or more of the countless stars in our universe, we can know for certain that no, we are not alone in the universe.

The Rev. Thomas Belsham wrote, amazingly, in 1826: 
"Behold the starry orbs, glittering like spangles, innumerable in the vast expanse of heaven. Conceive each star a sun, and each sun as the center, the fountain of light and heat to many habitable worlds, as large as, or larger than, the planet in which we dwell. Conceive of thousands of worlds, and clusters of suns and systems beyond these: of millions and millions remoter still than those. Who was the author of this stupendous fabric? God is the sole Architect. And God is love - infinite, immutable Love."
And he was right. The same God who oversaw the creation of trillions of stars – each one a massive, fiery nuclear furnace coalescing together to produce and spew forth unmeasurable amounts of energy for untold millennia – this God also loves each of us, here on this tiny globe in an average-sized galaxy.

While this mighty God, "determines the number of stars" and "gives to all of them their names" (Psalm 147:3) He also “heals the brokenhearted” (147:2.) He is aware of us, and knows our names, as well.

"The Heavens," the Psalmist says about God, "are Yours, and the earth and all that is in it, You have founded them" (Psalm 89:11.) 

Even when we cannot find another soul to turn to, we must know that God is always there, awaiting our words, our thoughts and also our pain.

This same God created our very souls, watching over us, knowing our hearts, caring about our welfare, and hoping for us the wholeness and completeness that He, himself enjoys.

Our Master and Teacher, Jesus, says God knows when sparrows fall from the sky, and knows the number of hairs on our head. Do we, then, believe God is not aware of our suffering and inner turmoil?

We all experience loneliness, alienation from others, and a feeling that we have nowhere to turn, and no one who will listen. But God is here, with us, even as he oversees the entire Universe. God is that big, and that close.

And God did not leave us alone. He sent us an example – our Master, Jesus – to show us how He wants us to live.

This Jesus served others completely, and he calls us to be there for others – just as he has done. He calls us to serve God and also to serve others: to clothe the naked, care for the sick, house the homeless, feed the hungry (Matt. 25:35-41.)

Even in our loneliness, we are called out to pick ourselves up and serve our neighbors, easing their loneliness and filling their needs. We are called to be the ones to whom others can turn and find comfort. We are to be the light of this world, just as a billion billion God-created suns light in our sky. And, not by accident, our service to others erases both their loneliness and ours, as well.

God waits for us to turn our troubled eyes towards Him, and He has promised that, like the Prodigal Son, He will always welcome back all who seek His warm embrace. And as long as we serve God, and others in His name, know that we can never truly be alone.

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