As we take our first steps into March, the world is slowly coming alive. Even though most of the woods and meadows are still wearing their winter brown and gray coats, new life is slowly appearing. Tiny green flowers emerge on the tree branches, leaves of the bloodroot are unfurling decorating its pristine white and yellow flowers. The purple violets appear, and the dandelions are popping up. In a week, spring will burst forth so rapidly I’ll want it to slow it down just so I can enjoy it longer.
This morning, walking along my woodland path, I’m struck by the fresh shoots of grass peeking through the leaf cover, the pink blossoms of the redbud and white petals of the Bradford pear that have landed on my path because of the high winds. The sticky shells that protect the tree blossoms are now scattered along my dirt trail. All of this miniature activity set me wondering about numbers. How many petals, flowers, leaves, seedpods and grass shoots are there on any given walk? How many in my state and how many in the world? A lot. Is it infinite? Can you count them? Our Lord can. What other created things around us can you think of numbering? The scripture says that Abraham’s children will be more than the grains of sand in the sea.
It’s amazing to me that one petal or grass shoot would bring about such a profound meditation, but it did. Let’s take the stars. A recent set of photographs from the new Webb telescope sent back a report that has scientists reeling. They thought they knew where the big bang started. They thought they knew how many stars and galaxies there are. Really? “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct Him?” (1) How could they even suggest that they had an accurate count or a time of beginning? Maybe the universe didn’t have a beginning. Maybe it just is and always was.
Have you ever wondered about the stars? Does the universe continue forever, infinitely? Or is there a boundary, and if so, what’s beyond it? Is heaven infinite, like the God we serve? Or is heaven part of the infinite? And isn’t He infinite? His thoughts and actions would seem to declare it so.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (2)
Have you ever thought about how many clouds there are in the sky on any day? They are constantly transforming into unique shapes making it impossible to number them. How many snowflakes fell this past winter, every single one a unique shape? The Lord knows the exact number.
We know that the mind of the Lord cannot be grasped by our finite brains. We could not begin to count His thoughts. The closest we come to understanding this is the presence of the Holy Spirit within us. The infinite Lord present in the finite man. No wonder it is called a mystery. Jesus, however, was fully man and fully God. Don’t try to understand this. It can’t be done with our finite minds.
This Lord we serve knows everything at all times from beginning to end now throughout eternity. He knows when every sparrow falls and how many hairs are on your head. He knows how many feathers are on that sparrow, or a duck or a hawk.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (3)
We know that when we ultimately reside in heaven, we will live forever. We will have an eternal existence. Is it infinite? I’m not sure. Does eternity go on forever? Yes, as far as I know. I guess we will just have to wait and find out.
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
Romans 1:20 NIV
- 1st Corinthians 2:16 NIV
- Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV
- Matthew 10:30 NIV