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Eternity In Our Hearts

From my youngest days, I have been interested in astronomy. Before the expansion of light pollution, when the skies were clear and dark, you could clearly see the Milky Way high over your head. With my small telescope I have observed the moon, planets, galaxies, double stars, star clusters, and other beautiful space objects. But what I saw then was nothing like we see today from the Hubble and Webb telescopes. Yet I say I did not just see Saturn through my little telescope, I experienced Saturn. It is one thing to see Saturn in a magazine or on the internet. But to be outside under the stars on a clear, crisp January night looking through the lens of your telescope is a distinct experience. In the good old days, all you could do was observe unless you were rich and had special camera equipment. Today, all you need is a small telescope and a cellphone and you can take pictures of the heavens that rival the ones seen in magazines decades ago.

What is it that causes us to look up into the night sky and be in awe of what we see? In Ecclesiastes 3:11 we read that God has put eternity in our hearts. This concept of eternity in our hearts applies to astronomy and what we see in the heavens. Light travels at 186,000 miles per second. The light we see from the sun left there eight minutes ago. The moon is fewer than two light-seconds away. But the planets are a little further out and the reflected light of the sun takes a little longer to get here. The closest star is approximately four light years away. The nearest galaxy, the Andromeda galaxy, is over two million light years away. Today, the Webb telescope is detecting galaxies that are billions of light years away. That light has travelled for billions of years just to reach our eyes today!

How does this relate to eternity in our hearts? Every time we look up to the heavens we are looking into the past. Not just seconds and minutes in the past. But millions and billions of years ago. And that leads us to ask a remarkably interesting question: How does the universe look today? Since we are time bound, we cannot tell. But God transcends time. Everything is an “eternal present” to Him. Try to imagine what God sees as He looks at the universe today. How does that distant galaxy billions of light years away look today? Truly, the heavens declare the glory of God.

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