“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”(Ps. 8:3, 4)
- Jim Healton
One of the things that many people have a hard time believing is that God thinks and cares about them. “God has more important things to think about than me,” people say. Maybe you are one of those that sometimes wonder about this. Even though King David believed that God thinks about us and cares for us it still made him marvel, for after all, what is man in comparison with the whole rest of the universe? Like David, we are humbled as we ponder the size of the universe. Consider the fact that the visible universe is billions of light years across and our tiny star and even smaller planet are like a single grain of sand out of all the sand on all the seashores of the earth! When we think of this it makes us feel terribly small and unimportant in the grand scheme of things.
Think also of the brevity of our lives on earth. As the Bible says, “You turn men back to dust,
saying, ‘Return to dust, O sons of men.’ For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. You sweep men away in the sleep of death; they are like the new grass of the morning — though in the morning it springs up new, by evening it is dry and withered.” (Psalm 90:3-6) So then why does God care about us? Our problem is that we confuse size with importance. Think of the stars again. Our own sun is huge but is dwarfed many times over by another star – Betelgeuse. If this star were placed in the center of our solar system its surface would extend past earth to the orbit of Mars, possibly even Jupiter!
Yet a star, even one as massive as Betelgeuse, is a simple, uncomplicated thing that cannot do even a fraction of the things a single cell in our body can do. We are, as David puts it, “fearfully and wonderfully made”. (Psalm 139:14) Each cell is a maze of highly complicated machinery doing incredible feats at lightning fast speeds. Then, those cells are organized into a vast array of interconnecting organs and systems that enable us, among many other things, to digest food, eliminate wastes, see, smell, taste, feel, move and reproduce – things even a massive star or even all the stars in all the galaxies in the universe could never do!
Now that is just the biological part of us; what about the spiritual part? The Bible declares that God made us as finite, miniature replicas of Himself. We are made “in the image and likeness” of God. (Genesis 1:26-28; James 3:9) We have not only a physical body but a spiritual soul that can sense, reason, imagine, remember, freely choose between abstract alternatives such as right and wrong, truth and falsehood, as well as discern and appreciate such intangibles as goodness and beauty. We can speak and communicate with other beings, create new things, and solve problems of great difficulty. We have an insatiable curiosity and a longing for significance. We are social beings who make lasting connections with other living beings and are capable of loving and of being loved. Our souls are also immortal, for that is part of what it means to be made in God’s image. Jesus told us not to fear men who, at most, can kill the body but cannot kill the soul. (Matthew 10:28) Most of all, we have the capacity of having a personal relationship with God!
Still, in comparison with God, we are next to nothing. And that is what makes His interest in us truly astonishing. In fact, we are sinners, violators of His Law and rebels against His government. This should make Him not just overlook us but utterly reject us. Yet He goes to extravagant lengths to provide a way for us to be redeemed and reunited with Him. He cares for us deeply, self-sacrificially. As Jesus said, He numbers the hairs of our head (Matthew 10:30; Luke 12:7). He identifies with our suffering and counts it His own. (Isaiah 63:9; Matthew 25:31-46) He makes all things work together for our good. (Romans 8:28) He has prepared a place for us so that we may be with Him forever. (John 14:1-3)
The words of an old hymn come to my mind: “Does Jesus care when my heart is pained too deeply for mirth and song; as the burdens press, and the cares distress, and the way grows weary and long? O yes, He cares; I know He cares, His heart is touched with my grief; when the days are weary, the long nights dreary, I know my Savior cares.” When Jesus stood at the grave of His friend, Lazarus, knowing full well that in a short while He would raise Lazarus from the dead, still He wept, (John 11:35) knowing that His friend had passed through great suffering and that his family and friends still grieved. In that scene of heartbreak, Jesus saw the whole trail of tears that stretched from the day sin and death entered the world to that moment. How it broke His heart! He, along with His heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit, were following their plan to overcome sin and death but there was no simple, easy way to do it. He longs for the day when it will all be over and the souls of as many as possible are saved from the sinking ship of this world to enter a far better world where sin will never again rear its hideous head and death shall never again have to be imposed. Yes, He cares! Run to Him now and surrender your soul afresh to Him, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)