Turning Points Magazine & Devotional

January 2021 Issue

Blessed Beyond Measure

From the Current Issue

Blessed Beyond Measure

Blessed Beyond Measure

Let’s review a little high school science, shall we? First, a light-year. A light-year is a measurement of distance. Light travels at 186,000 miles per second, so a light-year is the distance light travels in one year. If you do the math, that comes out to about 5.9 trillion miles.

So—a light-year is a distance of about 5.9 trillion miles. Obviously, we have no earthly references for such a distance. For example, the distance around planet Earth is only 24,900 miles; the moon is 238,900 miles from the earth; the sun is 93 million miles from earth. None of those numbers come close to the distance of one light-year—about 5.9 trillion miles.

Is it any wonder that the psalmist, David, wrote, “When I consider Your heavens . . . what is man that You are mindful of him...?” (Psalm 8:3-4)

So one light-year is a distance that none of us can really identify with. But that makes the following facts even harder to comprehend.

The galaxy in which planet Earth is found—the Milky Way galaxy—is huge. It contains between 100-400 billion stars, and possibly that many planets. Its diameter is between 170,000-200,000 light-years. Now we’re getting somewhere. One light-year is 5.9 trillion miles, and the Milky Way galaxy may be 200,000 light-years in diameter.

But hold on—we’re not talking about the big numbers yet. Our Milky Way galaxy is part of what is known as the Laniakea Supercluster, a collection of 100,000 galaxies like the Milky Way which stretches out over 520 million light-years. In miles, that is 520,000,000 multiplied by 5,900,000,000,000—a number I can’t compute because I don’t have a calculator that has room for that many zeros! To travel from one side of the Laniakea Supercluster to the other would take 520 million years traveling at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second).

Finally, if you have any breath left, consider this: It is estimated that there are some 10 million superclusters like the Laniakea Supercluster in the known universe.

Is it any wonder that the psalmist, David, wrote, “When I consider Your heavens . . . what is man that You are mindful of him...?” (Psalm 8:3-4) Think about yourself, an individual person. Now think about the immensity of the universe I have just described. God is bigger than the universe He created, yet He knows the number of hairs on your head (Luke 12:7)! How is it that God is immense and personal at the same time? All we know is that He is.

How is it that God is immense and personal at the same time? All we know is that He is.

Maybe Paul was thinking about God’s immensity when he prayed that we could grasp “the width and length and depth and height” of His love, this God whose works we can hardly comprehend (Ephesians 3:18).

Our God is a God who is big and who blesses big. He creates big and He cares big. His ability to bless His creation, which includes us, is even bigger than the Creation itself. That is the theme of this month’s Turning Points: “Blessed Beyond Measure.”

In the next three articles I want to delve into the size of God’s blessings. First, His personal care for His creation and us as His children is on the same scale as the grandeur of His creation of the universe. As profound as the universe is, His personal attention to our life is equally as profound. In fact, a good way to comprehend the depth of God’s personal blessings is to contemplate the depth of the universe.

Second, if we fail to look up toward God and contemplate Him, it is easy to stay focused on our problems and circumstances. It seems paradoxical, but God’s blessings do not stop when we are in pain. God’s blessings pour forth from His character like the warmth and light of the sun He created; they are never-ending. But if we fail to recognize His blessings, we will never enjoy them.

Third, just as we have developed sensitive instruments that help us see the immensity of God’s universe—like the Hubble Space Telescope—we need to develop a sensitivity to God’s blessings. That is, we need to grow in our awareness of the always-present blessings of God, especially in those times when we wonder why God isn’t blessing us.

This issue of Turning Points will encourage you to praise our God for the beyond-measure blessings He continually pours out upon us.  

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