I have loved you with an everlasting love; with unfailing love I have drawn you to myself (Jer 31:3)
Last week two American astronauts powered into space to link up with the International Space Station. Sometimes, on a clear night and with a decent pair of binoculars, you can see the Space Station – a bright, rectangular object easily distinguished from the stars. It’s amazing what you can see from your back garden! But even more amazing are the astonishingly beautiful pictures of the Earth that every new astronaut sends back – pictures impossible to replicate from anywhere else.
It reminds me of that first (Russian) man in space, back in 1961, Yuri Gagarin. That took some courage, and of course he was honoured as a great hero for getting there before the Americans. But what sticks in my memory is one of the things he is quoted as saying: ‘I’ve been into heaven, and I did not find God’.
How sad. And that reminds me of the sad fact that although we can see these fantastic photos and movies from space, and although we can wonder at TV productions like ‘Blue Planet’ and other incredible revelations of life on earth, there is no guarantee that those who are most directly involved in the making of such programmes will have any revelation of the reality of God. When we watch such programmes, we are awestruck at the creativity of God, the vast variety of what He has created to swim in the oceans, or roam the deserts of the world, how He has filled the infinite reaches of space with stunningly beautiful galaxies. How sad that others fail (refuse?) to see the hand of the Creator in the creation.
Richard Wurmbrand, the Romanian pastor who spent 13 years in communist prisons because of his faith, commented on the Gagarin story: ‘it’s like an ant that crawls over my boot and says “I see no Wurmbrand”’. It’s all a matter of perspective. You can choose to see God in the infinity of the cosmos. You can choose to see Him in a flowering orchid. You can choose to see Him in something a little child says. You can choose to see God in an 83-year-old man’s recovery from Covid 19. You can choose to see God in providing your daily food. You can choose to see God in the latest victim rescued from slavery. You can choose to see God in the sending of life-giving rain.
Or you can miss Him altogether. In spite of His love poured out on you and on all the world.
Where will you choose to see God today?