He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
He gives to all of them their names.
~Psalm 147:3-4 (ESV)
I read this yesterday, and I loved the juxtaposition.
God cares about us in an individual way, hearing our hearts' cries even when we do not know He is listening. When our hearts break, He is there, never leaving us or forsaking us, binding us up, healing our souls even while they reverberate with pain that drowns His presence from our consciousness.
He knows my name. He knows how many hairs are on my head, and that is a constantly declining number these days, but He can keep track.
Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered...
~Jesus (from Luke 12:7, ESV)
Amazingly, astonishingly, astoundingly, He also created and controls the entire cosmic universe, vastness so great that all we can do is try to come up with mathematical formulas to express the size of it symbolically. We study and track the patterns of the stars, the very stars that He put in their spots, programmed and named. He knows everything about them; He could give you a breakdown of the chemical formulas of their matter. With all our tools, instruments, computers, calculations, we can only attempt to scratch the surface of understanding, and our hubbles crash and burn with all our efforts, humbling us and making us start over, slowly, again and again. He watches us struggle, strive, begin to discover the works of His hands.
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
His understanding is unsearchable.
~Isaiah 40:28 (ESV)
It reminds me of one day, a number of summers ago. Shawn and I had taken the kids to Lake Ontario for the nature, fresh air, exercise. We hiked a trail along the shoreline, climbed on rocks and obsolete cement structures, grew hot under the sun and itchy from the weeds growing along the sides of the trail brushing us as we passed.
Shawn and the kids headed out onto a strange, greenish cement pier with their hands full of stones for skipping.
Feeling quiet, I distanced myself, perched on a large boulder at the edge of the water, removed my shoes and socks to cool my feet in the bath before me.
Refreshing water splashed my toes and dampened me. I swiped my finger through droplets on the top of my foot and down to the rock where I drew a wet blot. I breathed deep and looked out across the Great Lake, all the way to the horizon of the earth. Where the water met the sky was very far away; it occurred to me that I would die in an attempt to swim there. Yet, this water soaking and teasing the soles of my feet, touching me, was part of the same vast body. I looked from the horizon to my wet toes and back again, and I thought, "This is like God. He is near and He is far. He is accessible, and He is beyond understanding."
The sun baked heat into the hair on the top of my head, and I felt as though the surface of the earth tipped a bit, although I'm sure it really did not.