Let’s go on a voyage of imagination, and we’ll start by considering the human body. It’s made up of perhaps four to six trillion (that’s a million million) cells, and each cell consists of millions of molecules, from water to DNA. Each molecule has atoms, three for water, um ... a lot for DNA. Each atom has protons, electrons and neutrons which are made of quarks – yes, that’s what physicists call them – three in each, I think. These physicists have recently developed something called String Theory to explain that quarks are complicated little warps of space, that is, there’s nothing there at all, but it’s tightly wrapped.
We’re made of nothing. Sound familiar?
Okay, I’ve established that there are zillions of these quark thingies in a human body. Let’s move out.
There are around six billion people living today. More quarks. They live on Planet Earth. You got it.
Our star, the Sun, and the rest of the solar system have plenty of room for even more quarks, and our galaxy has a hundred billion stars, give or take, not to mention planets, black holes and vast clouds of gas and dust.
Our galaxy is one of a cluster of a couple of dozen galaxies of various sizes in the neighbourhood, in a volume of space some tens of millions of light-years across. Tens of millions? A light-year by itself is big, considering that the Sun is a mere eight and a half light-minutes away from Earth. By the way, we’re now talking a trillion stars.
Take a deep breath.
Our galactic cluster is a small part of a super-galaxy that stretches across space for a few billion light-years in a universe some thirty billion light-years in diameter. Folks, the astronomers estimate that there are at least a trillion galaxies out there.
That’s ... a lot ... of quarks.
Guess what. Those quarks aren’t statistics, numbers stored on a computer hard drive. God knows them ‘by name’; that is, He’s conscious of every single one of them, where they are and what they’re doing, all the time. He has to be; otherwise, the ones He wasn’t paying attention to would cease to exist - we complain about the shopping list.
The kicker to all of this, of course, is that, in spite of so much of his attention being taken up by maintaining the universe – not to mention Heaven and hell – He knows us ‘by name’ as well.
Knows us, loves us, saved us ...
Somehow, a word like ‘great’ seems feeble, limp, even unworthy of the task of telling what God is, yet we who define the word are feeble, limp, and unworthy. It is our word, however, and it is all we have.
My God, how great Thou art.
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