God’s Infinite Power

In 1995 scientists turned the Hubble space telescope towards a corner of space not thought to contain anything. A space that’s no bigger than an inch in our viewing if we hold our finger out at arm’s length. This was a big risk because of the enormous expense involved in using Hubble for something that might not even show them anything.

Not only did it show them something, they witnessed, for the first time in human history, 10,000 previously unknown galaxies, each one containing hundreds of billions of stars. That’s right—every speck in the image is not a star but a complete galaxy. And likely every square inch of our view of space has an equal amount of galaxies in it.

Have you ever sewed something that had a mistake in it, but it wouldn’t show so you didn’t worry about it? Note that God put all this in place billions of years before human eyes would ever see it. Earthlings saw it only 22 years ago. Why do you think he did that? I think perhaps one reason is that he wants us to know what he is capable of. This God of infinite power is the same one who helps us all the time, every day, with the tiniest and biggest of concerns. He is the one who remembers his promises to us.

He is an omnipresent God—he is everywhere. He is an omnipotent God—he is all-powerful. He is an omniscient God—he knows all. The same God who breathed life into the universe and flung these billions of galaxies into their positions billions of years before we would ever set eyes on them 22 years ago, is the same God who cares about your littlest concern as well as your biggest problems.

No, he does not want you to suffer with these things. He wants you to come to him. Actually I think you don’t have to go to him, he’s already there. He wants you to accept his power in your life. You can’t find that kind of power anywhere else. You might feel like you’re alone, or that nothing is happening to help you. But you are never, ever alone. And there are things constantly happening behind the scenes in your behalf. A powerful God who knows all has already started lining up solutions to problems you haven’t even had yet.

What miracles have you experienced that by rights shouldn’t have happened?

Psalm 139:1-3 O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.




Connecting With Characters

Milky Way

As a night owl, one of my favorite summer activities is to sit on my deck around midnight and after and stargaze. I ponder the incomprehensible, massive expanse of universe and my small part in it. I marvel at shooting stars, at constellations which appear together in my limited view but which in reality are thousands of light years away from each other. I find a strange, unexplainable comfort in the fact that I can count on seeing the same stars in the same spot at the same time each night, just as I did last summer and the one before that.

Where I live, we don’t have many cloudy nights during summertime, but we had one last night. I saw maybe five faint stars and nothing more. I suddenly felt a weird disconnection with “my” sky, imprisoned, alone, cut off from my steady star friends. I knew they were still there, but it felt like an enormous blanket hid them from me.

I remembered a scene in my book Eagle Rising where the main character, Nate Hunter, who’d been away from his family for months and had had no contact of any kind with them, stargazed every night. He found comfort in the familiarity of the stars, and connection to his faraway family, knowing that they could see the same sky from where they were. Then on a cloudy night, he had the same experience I did last night. He had to rely on imagining where each star was supposed to be to feel the connection he longed for and needed.

As writers, we must inhabit the heads of our characters, who may lead vastly different lives than we do. The limits of our imaginations are stretched to comprehend their experiences and record them in a way that will transmit, in their deepest levels, to the reader. In my disconnection to the night sky last night, I found deeper and more profound connection with my main character. It was one of the best stargazing nights ever!

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